The HIMA-San Pablo hospital system has re-entered the MMM Healthcare provider network, to offer healthcare services at its facilities in Caguas, Humacao, Fajardo and Cupey, executives representing both companies announced.
The partnership comes about five years after the two providers were unable to finalize contract negotiations, leaving patients unable to use their MMM coverage at HIMA hospitals.
However, the new agreement that takes effect Jan. 1, 2018, was brought about in response to the health crisis that has resulted in the wake of Hurricane María, which has resulted in an exodus of physicians.
“After hurricane María we analyzed the impact it had on the infrastructure of many of the medical facilities on the island, and we recognized the need to expand on many of these health services,” said MMM President Orlando González.
“It was in that moment we began a dialogue with the management of HIMA-San Pablo resulting in this historic alliance,” he said. “Patients need more and better opportunities of service and we have the commitment to provide them with the quality and efficiency that portrays us, no matter the circumstances which we are living.”
He explained MMM has some 40,000 patients that could gain access to healthcare at HIMA Caguas, HIMA Fajardo, HIMA Humacao and HIMA Cupey. That figure represents about 10 percent of MMM’s universe of patients, that exceeds 400,000 islandwide, including those participating in the government’s health plan.
The five-year agreement also calls for including about 100 specialized doctors under contract with HIMA as service providers, he added.
“The acceptance of a new health plan by our institution is a great challenge that we embrace with a high sense of responsibility,” said Armando Rodríguez, executive vice president of the HIMA-San Pablo hospitals.
“Becoming a supplier is a process with complex logistics. In the coming weeks we will be developing the administrative and operational processes that includes the recruitment of medical personnel, among other things, so that we are ready to welcome MMM members on Jan. 1, 2018,” Rodriguez stated.
The fifth hospital in the network, HIMA-San Pablo in Bayamón, is not yet included in the agreement, but González said talks to incorporate it will take place sometime next year.
As part of the agreement, MMM will be enabling a new “Unidad Dorada,” a specialized health unit that will be located at HIMA Caguas for MMM members. This unit provides a floor of exclusive rooms for members of MMM, which González said will be set up in the next month.
There, in addition to providing specialized facilities, hospital staff will help MMM members through admission and release procedures, as well as facilitating the stay of caregivers and assistance in coordination with the HIMA-San Pablo medical staff, González said.