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CDPHP-Lifetime Healthcare Companies merger proposed

Logos of the two companies

A major new healthcare affiliation has been announced in New York.

Two of New York’s leading not-for-profit health care companies, CDPHP and The Lifetime Healthcare Companies, announced plans to form an affiliation Wednesday.

Lifetime is based in Rochester and is the parent company of Excellus BlueCross BlueShield and Univera Healthcare. Lifetime President and CEO Jim Reed says it makes sense to partner with a trusted, mission-driven not-for-profit that shares a similar culture.
"We can work more collaboratively together learn from each other share a common operating platform to potentially help mitigate cost increases and improve the affordability of health care," said Reed.

CDPHP President and CEO Dr. John Bennett says the boards of directors of the two entities unanimously approved the affiliation, which now requires regulatory approval, which could take up to nine months.

"So on day one, nothing changes," Bennett said. "Our CDPHP contracts with our members and our employer groups stay the same, our products stay the same. And our CDPHP contracts with our providers stay the same. So in the beginning, nothing changes. Over time, the first thing that should change is that and this will take a while as we begin to see these efficiencies administratively. And we begin to do group purchasing. We believe and we are confident that this will lead to a reduction in our administrative costs. And as such, will be helpful in moderating any premium increases to make affordability more attainable."

Bennett says a number of regional plans throughout the nation are joining forces, with non-profits especially partnering-up to increase efficiency and minimize costs. Reed says it's a win-win.

 "We don't have any intended staff reductions we don't have any intended layoffs as part of this affiliations combination and we're hopeful that we can really leverage each other's strengths and learn from the employees on both sides," Reed said. 

Bennett adds "Our network will be the same. And, and, and our brand, our brand will be the same. She will they will still see the green oval. I'm still here with my green tie, and we're still green, and we will be green and our employees will be here answering the phones live as they always are."

Under the arrangement, Lifetime Healthcare would become the parent company for CDPHP.

According to the companies, CDPHP has 1,400 New York employees, while Lifetime has 4,500.

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.