Carondelet Health Network’s Mercy Care Plan will soon be providing healthcare coverage to a significantly larger population in Pima County. The state of Arizona and, specifically, the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS), has awarded Mercy Care Plan half of the county’s current Arizona Long Term Care System (ALTCS) membership effective October 1, 2011.

Arizona’s Long Term Care System supports the elderly and disabled in our community who need individualized and consistent care at home, in assisted living homes, and nursing home facilities. As a result of this newly awarded contract, coverage for the ALTCS population of nearly 4,000 in Pima County will be divided between Mercy Care Plan, a nonprofit managed care plan established in Arizona in 1985, and Evercare, a for-profit health plan based in Texas.

Mercy Care Plan (Southwest Catholic Health Network Corporation) is an Arizona-based, nonprofit partnership between Ascension Health’s Carondelet Health Network, Southern Arizona’s largest Catholic nonprofit healthcare system, and Catholic Healthcare West’s St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center. SCHN was formed 26 years ago, after the State asked Catholic healthcare systems to help expand coverage options and increase access to primary care, specialty care and personal care services for people with Medicaid and Medicare benefits in Arizona. Mercy Care Plan now has more than 360,000 members across the state enrolled in a variety of benefit plans.

“Carondelet has been a cornerstone in Southern Arizona since the Sisters of St. Joseph opened St. Mary’s Hospital in 1880,” notes Ruth W. Brinkley, RN, FACHE, President and CEO of Carondelet Health Network and Chair of the Mercy Care Plan Board of Directors. “The Sisters’ mission 131 years ago was the same as our mission today - to serve the healthcare needs of an ever-growing regional population -- with special attention paid to the vulnerable among us. This, too, is the mission of Mercy Care Plan.”

“As a nonprofit health plan sponsored by two community-based nonprofit health systems, Mercy Care Plan is also a part of this community,” adds Brinkley. “Mercy Care Plan earnings stay in Arizona and are reinvested into the economy, providing more healthcare offerings to keep our residents healthy. This is good for Arizona, good for the providers serving Mercy Care Plan members, and especially positive for the Mercy Care Plan members we are privileged to serve.”

About Carondelet Health Network
Located in Tucson, Arizona, Carondelet Health Network is a Catholic, nonprofit health care system dedicated to responding to the health care needs of Southern Arizonans. With a Mission to Heal, Carondelet was founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet 130 years ago. Carondelet Health Network facilities include Carondelet St. Mary's Hospital, Carondelet St. Joseph's Hospital, Carondelet Heart & Vascular Institute and Carondelet Neurological Institute on the campus of St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tucson and Carondelet Holy Cross Hospital in Nogales, Arizona. Other Carondelet services include nearly fourteen Carondelet Medical Group primary care locations, three Carondelet Specialist Group offices, an ambulatory surgery center and various outpatient services. Carondelet Health Network is a ministry of Ascension Health, the nation's largest Catholic, non-profit health care system. In Fiscal Year 2010, Carondelet provided nearly $50 million (8.3 percent of its net revenue) in Community Benefit to improve the health of our community and increase access to health care. More information about Carondelet Health Network is available at www.carondelet.org.