McALLEN – Children and their parents in 10 Texas counties now have new health plans to choose from including the Driscoll Children's Health Plan (DCHP), which is one of four that were recently awarded a Medicaid managed care contract in South Texas by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC).

Being selected for the contract was no small feat, according to DCHP President and Chief Executive Officer Mary Dale Peterson, M.D.

"DCHP was chosen over many competitors including other non-profit entities and very large, publicly traded, managed care organizations," she said. "This shows that the Health and Human Services Commission trusts us to deliver quality care to the South Texas population."

DCHP covers 10 counties in South Texas, referred to as the Hidalgo service delivery area (SDA). It's available to the Medicaid-eligible population, of which there are approximately 400,000 people. Driscoll's is the only non-profit, provider-sponsored health plan in the Hidalgo SDA. DCHP has a dedicated team of pediatric and adult doctors, and the plan accepts members regardless of any pre-existing health conditions.

DCHP comes with a name that is synonymous with high-quality healthcare in South Texas. Clara Driscoll bequeathed her family fortune to the creation of Driscoll Children's Hospital, which opened in Corpus Christi in 1953. In later decades, the hospital opened specialty clinics in Laredo, Brownsville, McAllen and Harlingen. Driscoll offers care to children regardless of their family's ability to pay.

DCHP will increase access to healthcare for many children, Dr. Peterson said. It's now being assessed how many additional physicians and healthcare providers will be needed in the Hidalgo SDA.

The HHSC also recently renewed DCHP's contract in the 14-county Nueces SDA, making it one of three managed care health plans in that area. The Nueces SDA is where DCHP established its solid history of delivering quality healthcare.

"DCHP has a proven track record," Dr. Peterson said. "I'm confident that our expansion into South Texas will improve care to many children, which was Clara Driscoll's mission all along."

The counties in the program include Cameron, Duval, Hidalgo, Jim Hogg, Maverick, McMullen, Starr, Webb, Willacy and Zapata.

For more information on DCHP, call 361-904-0955 or 1-877-DCHP-KIDS or go to www.dchpkids.com.