TakeCare the former PacifiCare will soon provide a different atmosphere for its patients and consumers through a facelift. According to Joseph Husslein president of TakeCare Health Systems LLC the company embarked on renovations to its Tamuning facilities at the onset of 2005 in expectation of the PacifiCare sale. “We started to do renovations to our clinic early last year in anticipation of the transaction and we’re going to be continuing that renovation to the clinic in 2006. Total investment will be about a million dollars.”

He said interior aesthetics will be improved. “We’re going to bring it to the new TakeCare standard that we want to project into our centers — both here and in Saipan. It will be more open and more patient-friendly as far as flow new colors and textures a whole new look from the medical and dental centers that we have had in the past. It will look more modern.”

Along with the change in interior design Husslein said there would be additions to the services PacifiCare used to provide and that TakeCare plans to offer its consumers. “We are looking at some additional introductions in 2006 both in health plan products as well as additional clinic services that we’re going to be expanding. We’re hoping to get Medicare [representatives] here to do a certification of our hospice program.”

He said TakeCare does not officially have a hospice program or service in place. “We’ve been working for the last six months or so putting it together and doing some test cases with the patients’ consent. When we have Medicare out here to review and certify us we’ll be able to provide them with the information they need to then certify our hospice care program and to make that available to Medicare as well as the island community.” Husslein said “The hospice program is for those who are terminally ill patients with consultation of their personal care provider and their family members where they decide they would like a program where they could have medical care rendered in their home in their last stages of life and live in a comfortable environment surrounded by their family members. We do that with compassion care and sensitivity to the family and the individual who is terminally ill. Obviously we keep mindful of any special requirements culturally socially or by family.”

Husslein said the new year will bring new health plan offers to include health savings accounts. (See “Health savings accounts to launch on Guam” in the Sept. 19 edition of the Journal) “One of those is health savings accounts and another one is a different benefit plan that will provide a different level of benefits than in the past.” He said TakeCare will also cater to workplace health care “Traditionally some of these services are not covered under an employer’s or employee’s health benefit plan. Because we have the strength of the health insurance and the clinics we want to see how we can provide a total package for employee based benefits traditional health care benefits and employer health care needs from a business standpoint whether that’s onsite health care drug testing physicals — business health services.” Husslein said the program is already in place in a few businesses. “We’ve piloted in the last four or five months with some specific groups and it seems to be well received and that’s something we’re going to look at offering as a full launch in 2006.”

He said to look for another change after Dec. 19. “The old signs will be coming down.”

According to Husslein the PacifiCare acquisition and transition into TakeCare was well received. “It’s been well supported by the employer groups as well as the providers we have in our network as well as the 300 employees. It’s business as usual. Policies and such have remained the same and we look forward to building our successes and continuing that in 2006.” MBJ