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Aurora Health Care and the WEA Trust sign 15-year agreement

Tuesday, September 03, 2002

Aurora Health Care and the WEA Trust, which provides health insurance for many of Wisconsin's public school districts, announced today that they had signed a long-term agreement.

Under the agreement, Aurora physicians and facilities will be available to teachers, other school district employees, and their families through the WEA Trust's existing health insurance plans, as well as through a new plan arrangement the WEA Trust is creating. Under the new plan arrangement, an Aurora provider network will be offered to enrollees as one of two Point of Service plans.

The agreement covers Aurora's entire service area in eastern Wisconsin.

"We are pleased to have a long-term agreement with the WEA Trust," said Donald J. Nestor, executive vice president of Aurora. "This will provide peace of mind for school employees who choose Aurora physicians, because they will have assurance that they will not need to change doctors because of future changes in insurance contracts."

The agreement sets the stage for school districts to work with Aurora on a wide range of clinical quality improvement efforts. "We will have an opportunity to work in partnership with school districts over an extended period to enhance the health of their employees and control spending on health care,"Nestor said.

"Our agreement with Aurora provides new options for high-quality care for those we insure," said Alan J. Jacobs, president and chief executive officer of the WEA Trust. "Our two organizations share common goals with respect to controlling health care costs while maintaining quality and service. Aurora has demonstrated its commitment to care management, including an expansive disease management program and other initiatives that, coordinated with our health and disease management programs, will help to address the overall cost of care."

"Aurora's care management initiatives will be integral components of the new insurance plans," Jacobs said.

"Our new agreement reflects Aurora's willingness to be creative and responsive to the needs of the WEA Trust and those we serve,"Jacobs said. "As a result, the new plan arrangements we are creating will result in cost savings that we will pass along to our school districts."

Jacobs said the new plan arrangement is a positive step forward in creating true competition among health care systems. "We are delighted by Aurora's willingness to step to the plate and embrace this concept, which we believe will both help control costs and improve quality," he said.

The new agreement replaces and expands on a series of prior agreements between Aurora and the WEA Trust.

A not-for-profit organization based in Madison, the WEA Trust is Wisconsin's second largest health insurer, offering health insurance and other financial services to public school employees throughout the state.

Aurora Health Care is a not-for-profit Wisconsin health care provider and a nationally recognized leader in efforts to improve the quality of health care. Aurora has care sites, including clinics, hospitals, pharmacies and home health care services, in 75 communities throughout eastern Wisconsin.

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