Washington State's Largest Employee Union Health Plan Offers Members 'Direct Primary Care' Benefit Option

Thousands of Puget Sound Area Employees Can Now Add Qliance to Their PPO Plan to Receive Enhanced Primary Care, and Lower Premiums in 2012

SEATTLE, WA--(Marketwire - Nov 23, 2011) - Qliance Medical Management Inc., which operates direct primary care clinics -- also known as "direct primary care medical homes" -- in Washington state, today announced it has been added as an option for Sound Health & Wellness Trust's SoundPlus PPO Plan which is currently in open enrollment for 2012. This means all Sound Health & Wellness Trust members, including the United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 21, Washington state's largest employee union, can now choose to receive direct primary care from Qliance in addition to coverage from their current SoundPlus PPO benefit plan, and doing so will actually lower their individual weekly premium. For example, employee-only coverage premiums would be reduced from $9 per week to $5 per week.

The Sound Health & Wellness Trust is a pioneer in incorporating the direct practice model into their benefits. In 2009, the Trust was the first Taft-Hartley health care program in the nation to offer a direct primary care medical home package to its members via a pilot program with Qliance. Today, that program has expanded due to its success in providing great value for high-quality health care to participating union members. Qliance is now available as an option for 2012 to the more than 10,000 Sound Health & Wellness Trust members living in Qliance's service area.

"We are committed to getting all of our members connected with a quality primary care provider, and we see Qliance as a great way to do this," said Diane Zahn, secretary of the Sound Health & Wellness Trust and secretary-treasurer of UFCW Local 21, a participating local in the Trust. "All of our members can now choose to receive the added benefits of Qliance primary care at no additional cost to them. Through our pilot program, we were able to see how Qliance can bring down overall health care expenditures and keep our members healthier. It's a win-win situation for everyone, and I encourage members of UFCW Local 21 and other participating unions to take a close look at the Qliance Plan this month during open enrollment."

Sound Health & Wellness Trust's 2012 open-enrollment period ends November 30. Trust members who join the Qliance Plan will receive all of the benefits of Qliance membership, including unrestricted access to primary and preventive care at any of Qliance's five regional clinics in Seattle, Tacoma, Kent, Mercer Island and an affiliated clinic in Mill Creek. Qliance membership includes:

  • Extended office hours to better accommodate patients' busy schedules with same- or next-day appointments for urgent care needs
  • Unlimited visits with no co-pays
  • Unhurried 30- to 60-minute office visits (compared to 10- to 15-minute averages nationally)
  • Primary and preventive care, chronic disease management, and wellness education
  • Daily office hours, with 24-hour telephone access to a physician.
  • Coordination of any needed specialist and hospital care as a "medical home" model
  • No limits or restrictions for pre-existing conditions

Trust Members will still receive the protection and coverage from their SoundPlus PPO benefit plan for any medical services Qliance is unable to provide -- including specialist, hospital and emergency care. And, if the member enrolls in Qliance, a lower weekly employee premium will be charged.

"Qliance is the best health care I've ever experienced," said Jan Mayrhofer, an employee member of UFCW Local 21 and Sound Health & Wellness Trust Qliance Participant since January 2010. "I'm so happy the Trust has offered Safeway employees the option of a Qliance membership with my health plan. In the past two years, I have had wonderful primary care through Qliance for an amazing value. This is how health care should work for everyone."

For more information about Qliance, visit www.Qliance.com. Individuals, employers and other groups interested in learning more about Qliance may contact Clarence Williams, Vice President of Membership for Qliance, at cwilliams@qliance.com or (206) 913-4748.

About Qliance Medical Management
Qliance Medical Management was founded in 2006 and provides operating and management services to Qliance Medical Group of Washington PC, which operates clinics under the Qliance® brand. Qliance offers people of all ages and incomes unrestricted access to all types of primary, preventive and chronic illness care for one monthly membership fee, ranging between $49 and $89, depending on age, for its core service level. Qliance does not exclude anyone for pre-existing conditions and offers 30- to 60-minute same- and next-day appointments, 7-days per week. Through Qliance, patients and employers are getting exceptional care and saving up to 50 percent on comprehensive health care costs when bundled with a lower-premium insurance plan. Qliance has raised approximately $14 million, led by Second Avenue Partners with participation by Clear Fir Partners LP, New Atlantic Ventures, Bezos Expeditions, MSD Capital and other private investors. For more information, visit www.Qliance.com.