PHCS vs. MultiPlan: Understanding the Key Differences Between These Major Healthcare Networks

If you work in healthcare, you’ve probably come across the names PHCS and MultiPlan when researching provider networks. But what exactly is the relationship between PHCS and MultiPlan? Are they the same thing or completely separate networks?

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explain what PHCS and MultiPlan are, their key differences, and how they fit together to serve the healthcare marketplace.

Defining PHCS and MultiPlan

First, let’s briefly describe each network:

PHCS stands for Private Healthcare Systems and is one of the largest preferred provider organization (PPO) networks in the U.S. PHCS has over 1 million healthcare providers under contract nationwide.

MultiPlan is a healthcare company that offers a range of solutions for payers, providers, and patients. This includes network solutions, analytics, cost containment services, and more.

So while PHCS refers specifically to a PPO network, MultiPlan is a broader company that offers PHCS as one of its network offerings.

The Relationship Between PHCS and MultiPlan

Now that we’ve defined them individually, how exactly are PHCS and MultiPlan connected?

PHCS operates as a network under the MultiPlan organization. MultiPlan is the parent company that owns and manages the PHCS network.

Specifically, MultiPlan acquired PHCS back in 2006. Since then, PHCS has continued to exist as a national network offering within MultiPlan’s portfolio of network solutions.

  • PHCS is a network

  • MultiPlan is a healthcare company that offers various services and solutions

  • MultiPlan owns and administers the PHCS network

Think of it like this – PHCS is one of the brands in the MultiPlan family of networks. But the PHCS network itself is owned and powered by MultiPlan.

Key Differences Between PHCS and MultiPlan

Now that we’ve explained the relationship, let’s outline some of the main differences between the PHCS network and MultiPlan as a whole:

Size and Scope

  • PHCS is focused solely on providing a PPO network.

  • MultiPlan offers a diverse range of solutions beyond just network services, including analytics, cost management programs, payment integrity, etc.

Network Reach

  • PHCS contracts with over 1 million healthcare providers nationwide.

  • MultiPlan provides access to over 1.2 million providers when you combine all of their various networks together.

Network Branding

  • PHCS operates under the PHCS brand name.

  • MultiPlan oversees several network brands including PHCS, Beech Street, HealthEOS, Texas True Choice, and more.


  • PHCS is owned by MultiPlan and operates as one of MultiPlan’s network offerings.

  • MultiPlan is the parent company that owns PHCS as well as other network solutions.

Years in Business

  • PHCS has been in business for over 30 years.

  • MultiPlan was founded in 1980, so it predates the PHCS network.

Type of Network

  • PHCS is a PPO network.

  • MultiPlan offers networks in PPO, POS, and other configurations.

How PHCS and MultiPlan Work Together

Now that we’ve explored the key differences, let’s discuss how PHCS and MultiPlan interact within the healthcare system:

  • MultiPlan manages and maintains the PHCS network of providers. This includes contracting, credentialing, developing access solutions, and negotiating discounts.

  • Payers like health insurance companies can contract with MultiPlan to gain access to the PHCS network and offer it to their members.

  • Members can then use providers in the PHCS network and receive discounted rates that are pre-negotiated by MultiPlan.

  • Providers who join the PHCS network get access to patients from all the payers that contract with MultiPlan. But the contract is with MultiPlan, not each individual payer.

This simplified workflow allows PHCS to focus on building and maintaining a strong PPO network, while MultiPlan takes care of distributing that network to both payers and ultimately patients in need of care.

The end result is expanded access to care and cost savings for all stakeholders. MultiPlan coordinates all the moving parts behind the scenes to enable the PHCS network to operate smoothly.

When To Use PHCS vs. Other MultiPlan Networks

Because MultiPlan offers multiple network solutions beyond just PHCS, you may be wondering when to use PHCS versus other MultiPlan networks.

Here are some key considerations:

Use PHCS when:

  • You need nationwide access – PHCS has the largest geographic coverage of any MultiPlan network

  • You value strong discounts – PHCS negotiates competitive discounts as a high-volume PPO

  • You want flexibility – PHCS contracts can be customized in different ways

  • You need primary network access – PHCS can serve as a core network solution

Consider other MultiPlan networks for:

  • Regional access – Brands like Beech Street, HealthEOS, etc. offer localized networks

  • Workers’ comp – MultiPlan has networks tailored for work comp cases

  • Government programs – Solutions for Medicaid, Medicare Advantage, etc.

  • Ancillary services – Specialized networks for dental, vision, labs, ambulances, etc.

So PHCS makes sense for situations where you need broad PPO access nationally. But MultiPlan has options when you need to narrow your network focus regionally or by case type.

The Takeaway on PHCS vs. MultiPlan

To recap the key details comparing these two healthcare companies:

  • PHCS is a PPO network owned and operated by MultiPlan
  • MultiPlan provides a suite of healthcare solutions, including the PHCS network
  • PHCS offers local, regional and national network access
  • MultiPlan also oversees other niche and specialty network brands
  • Payers can contract with MultiPlan to access the PHCS network
  • Providers joining PHCS get linked to multiple payers through MultiPlan

Hopefully this overview has helped explain what PHCS and MultiPlan are and how they work together within the managed care system. Their symbiotic relationship enables payers and providers to take advantage of a major PPO network along with the system-wide benefits offered by MultiPlan.

PHCS MultiPlan


Is MultiPlan the same as PHCS?

Is MultiPlan the same as PHCS? MultiPlan owns PHCS. But the two entities have different provider networks for their insurance company clients.

What does MultiPlan insurance mean?

The MultiPlan Network is a nationwide complementary PPO network. Your health plan is most likely utilizing the MultiPlan Network to give you access to an additional choice of providers that have agreed to offer a discount for services.

Is PHCS insurance legitimate?

Accreditation involves rigorous reviews of our provider credentialing and recredentialing policies and procedures. Provider credentialing is a key component of ensuring the network is made up of exceptional health care providers. The PHCS Network has maintained its accredited status since 2001.

What is a PHCS health plan?

Private Healthcare Systems (PHCS) is a health insurance company that offers millions of members across the country coverage for medical and behavioral health care.

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