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Hospital now a provider of UHC

By By Adam Prestridge
Atmore Mayor Howard Shell was pleased to hear the news Friday that Atmore Community Hospital had become a participating provider for United Healthcare (UHC).
Now when one of his employees visits the doctor and requires lab work or has to be hospitalized, it can all be done close to home.
"We're certainly glad that it's now a lot easier for our employees to use our local hospital and not have to go out of town," Shell said. "Not only will employees benefit from it, but so will their dependents. We see that as an asset to the city and the community as a whole."
The City of Atmore has roughly 126 employees that will benefit from the added insurance coverage at Atmore Community Hospital.
"Now it will certainly be a lot easier," Shell added.
In addition, Atmore Community Hospital will also be a participating provider for all United Healthcare products including, health maintenance organizations (HMOs), preferred provider organizations (PPOs) and Medicare Advantage.
"We were glad that they were able to work out an arrangement that was fair to us and fair to them," hospital administrator Bob Gowin said. "Now individuals covered by a United HealthCare plan in our service area can utilize the full range of healthcare at Atmore Community Hospital 'in network' and not have to travel elsewhere for their healthcare needs."
Previously UHC policyholders were directed to hospitals out of town. Now they have the convenience of using their local hospital for healthcare needs, Baptist Hospital community relations manager Candy McGuyre said.
"All of our local physicians are also providers to the United HealthCare network as well."
Dr. Jonah McIntyre of Physicians &Associates in Atmore said the addition of United Healthcare is a huge plus for the hospital.
"The medical community appreciates the addition of United Health Care to Atmore Community Hospital. It will be much more convenient for patients to get test and, if need be, hospital stays locally."
Atmore Community Hospital provides a wide range of inpatient and outpatient services including 24-hour emergency services, intensive care unit, laboratory, physical rehabilitation therapy, home health care, short-term nursing care and radiology. The hospital also provides easy access to 16 physician specialists in the outpatient specialty clinic.
Employees of Exxon, the United State Postal Service, teachers with the Escambia County Florida School System and International Paper will also benefit from the addition of UHC.