Seneca Nation Indians selects Independent Health

Seneca Nation of Indians selects Independent Health

BUFFALO, N.Y., (October 18, 2011) - Independent Health announced The Seneca Nation of Indians has selected Independent Health as its sole health plan beginning Jan. 1, 2012.

Independent Health will also continue as the sole health plan for Seneca Gaming Corporation and the Seneca Gaming Authority. The Seneca Nation will bring more than 2,200 new members, making the total membership across the three Seneca entities more than 6,800 members. In addition, Pharmacy Benefit Dimensions, a subsidiary of Independent Health, will administer the three entities’ self-funded prescription benefits.

“Independent Health is delighted to continue our relationship with Seneca Gaming, and extremely honored to be chosen by the Seneca Nation of Indians,” said Michael W. Cropp, M.D., president and chief executive officer, Independent Health. “We look forward to working with the Seneca Nation to offer solutions to help improve the health and well being of the Nation, as we have done with Seneca Gaming.”

“Our team members work around the clock to provide exceptional service, and we’re confident that Independent Health will offer the very best resources to keep them healthy,” said Karen Karsten, chairman, Seneca Gaming Corporation. “Seneca Gaming Corporation and Independent Health are regional leaders in their respective industries, and it’s a smart fit to work together for the well-being of more than 3,700 people.”

Seneca Nation of Indians President Robert Odawi Porter said, “The Seneca Nation is pleased to adopt Independent Health as the sole health provider for the Seneca Nation and our gaming entities. This will result in a significant total cost savings without compromising strong health coverage or services for our more than 6,800 enrollees. For organizations big and small, and growing Native Nations such as ours, it is increasingly important to manage, stretch and maximize health dollars; Independent Health lets us do just that.”

During the two-year agreement, the Seneca Gaming Corporation will continue to collaborate with Independent Health on the group’s highly successful Healthy Me! wellness and health engagement program to promote healthy lifestyles and address health risks that lead to higher health care costs. Along with health coaching and care management initiatives, the strategy includes informative programs, seminars, and tools to encourage and educate employees on taking ownership of their own health.

Independent Health plans to work with Seneca Gaming Authority and the Seneca Nation of Indians to create their own wellness programs as well.

As another innovative opportunity to engage employees, the new Niagara Family Medicine - Seneca Niagara office will enable all Seneca Gaming employees to take advantage of onsite health and wellness programs, along with access to an Independent Health health coach.

Pharmacy Benefit Dimensions (PBD), established in 2005, will administer the entities’ self-funded prescription benefits. It offers employers a cost saving, transparent pharmacy benefit management model for one low administrative fee.

“Pharmacy Benefit Dimensions has been experiencing steady growth and we’re excited to help Seneca Gaming and the Seneca Nation achieve their goals,” said Robert Saeli, PBD president.

“We work closely with plan sponsors and benefit consultants to focus on smarter prescription drug utilization to better manage pharmacy costs,” Saeli said. “By balancing utilization management and unit pricing, we successfully maximize cost efficiency without compromising on quality and service for our customers. This model has allowed our customers to save significant dollars and provide a valuable benefit to their employees.”

Dr. Cropp views the relationship with the three Seneca entities as an important piece to the overall transformation of health care, which will take a widespread community effort. “Independent Health believes that health care reform takes a collaborative effort that requires active involvement by all stakeholders,” he said. “We welcome the commitment by one of the area’s largest employer groups and are honored to have the Seneca Nation part of our initiatives to change how health care is delivered in this region.”