"I don't think we're going to play, and we plan to position ourselves as a local plan only," said Herb Fritch, chief executive officer of NewQuest Health Solutions, the Nashville-based operator of HealthSpring Medicare Advantage plans in Tennessee, Alabama, Texas, and Illinois.Fritch
said the 26 PPO regions outlined for the first time on Dec. 6 by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
favor national companies such as Aetna
, and UnitedHealthcare
that have the ability to fashion large networks.The largest region consists of seven states in the upper Midwest and northern Plains and a bidder would need an extensive provider network to provide services to those beneficiaries.
In many configurations, the losers could be the non-profit Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans that typically are bound to stay within their states, Fritch
That will enable the company to expand in its existing markets and pursue acquisitions in the Medicare health plan industry, Fritch
"We think there are opportunities out there, and we are looking to buy plans," Fritch