Boeing, Roper St. Francis form new healthcare partnership

Some Boeing employees are voting Thursday on unionization. (Source: WCSC)
Some Boeing employees are voting Thursday on unionization. (Source: WCSC)
Updated: Jul. 29, 2015 at 2:18 PM EDT
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NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - It's a move leaders are calling "revolutionary."

Wednesday, Boeing South Carolina announced a new healthcare partnership with the Roper St. Francis healthcare alliance, a Tri-county first.

The deal, which is set to take effect January 1st, directly combines large private employer, Boeing, with a healthcare system without the help of a third party mediator, such as an insurance agency.

More than 6000 Boeing employees will have access to the Boeing Preferred partnership, one leaders expect will save between $350-1000/person annually.

Employees will still have access to their current healthcare options.

Thornton Kirby, President of the South Carolina Hospital Association says the move saves money in healthcare costs, by getting it right the first time.

"This is an opportunity to reach into the workforce who are not our patients, and keep them healthy so they don't have to become our patients," he said.

Among the benefits include same-day or next-day appointments, a Boeing-dedicated customer service center and nurse line, and electronic messaging with care providers.

The Roper St. Francis Health Alliance is made up of more than 600 physicians.  Boeing leaders said they chose the system because of its geographical reach, a reputation for being well-respected, and commitment to transforming how healthcare is delivered.

Boeing South Carolina Vice President and General Manager Beverly Wyse described the partnership as both a new and better approach.

Wyse said the company is applying the same logic to healthcare as it does in building dreamliners, with a commitment to more quality, reliability and lower costs.

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