Some Wichita School employees in search of new doctors

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Some Wichita Public School employees expressing frustration that they or their co-workers have to change doctors.

“We have negotiated in the past and taken less in raises to keep our insurance the quality that it has been,” says Tony Pruitt.

The district says it has heard quite a bit of concern.

“I have gotten a couple emails from people who have had a 20 year relationship with their primary care physicians, and it’s a tough, tough situation,” says Shannon Krysl.

Via Christi Health says they’re pulling out from the Aetna network that serves USD 259, effective March 31. The chief strategy officer sent us this statement, saying the decision was made, “because of its requirement that our physicians refer patients needing hospitalization exclusively to Wesley Medical Center.”

The Chief Human Resources officer for Wichita schools says the hospitalization issue was primarily for the benefit of their employees.

“We have a number of female employees who are of child-bearing age and they want access to Wesley Medical Center and the Intensive Care Unit for neonatal, and so that is why we have Wesley as our preferred network.”

As many employees work to begin their search for a new doctor coworkers like Tony Pruitt sympathize with the process.

“It’s like a 3 month process to just with a new doctor and actually make that initial visit that you can talk to them about your prescription and past history.”

We’ve checked and 279 of the doctors the network for Wichita teachers are accepting new patients, hoping this won’t be a strain on the existing medical system in Wichita.

But the district is holding several health plan meetings for employees to help individuals find new doctors.

The meetings will be on the following dates:

  • Tuesday, November 1, 7 a.m. at the School Service Center, 37th and Hillside
  • 6 p.m. Joyce Focht Instruction Support Center, 412 South Main Street
  • Wednesday, November 2, 6 p.m. at the School Service Center
  • Thursday, November 3, 6 a.m. South Service Center, 2 p.m. South Central Center