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Friday, May 5, 2000
The Business Journal of Milwaukee - by Julie Sneider
The sale of Family Health Plan Cooperative could be a boon for
Wisconsin's charities, but a bust for the state's consumers.
Proceeds from the sale of Family Health Plan Cooperative,
Milwaukee's only nonprofit HMO, will have to go to a charity or
charities. But how much might be paid out and which charities might
benefit haven't been decided.
The sale also will result in a shrinking HMO field in Wisconsin, and
the diminished competition could cause HMO premiums to continue
The fate of the charitable proceeds and the impact on the local HMO
market are two of the many uncertainties raised by the pending sale
of Family Health Plan, one of the oldest health maintenance
organizations in Wisconsin and the only "cooperative sickness plan"
in the Milwaukee area.
On April 26, Family and its management firm, Family Health
Systems, signed a letter of intent to sell the insurance and health care delivery operations
to United Wisconsin Services Inc., a Milwaukee managed care company, and
Wheaton Franciscan Services Inc., the Wheaton, Ill.-based health care system and parent
of Covenant Healthcare System Inc. in Milwaukee.
Officials at United Wisconsin, Wheaton and Covenant declined to discuss details of the
In general, the plan calls for United Wisconsin Services to acquire Family's insurance
business and for Wheaton and Covenant to take over operation of Family's seven clinics,
the 75-member physician group and the SurgiCenter of Greater Milwaukee.
Although Wheaton and Covenant would operate the clinics, the