Stanford Hospital & Clinics has acquired CareCounsel, a major provider of employer-sponsored health advocacy and health care assistance services, the two California-based companies announced recently.

Founded in 1996, CareCounsel currently serves approximately 150,000 workers, retirees and family members with services ranging from coordination of care and assistance with open enrollment to help with insurance claims and Medicare. Its stated goal is to help participants navigate the complex health care environment through an employer-sponsored benefit offering education, advocacy, information access and expert resources.

Stanford Hospital & Clinics says CareCounsel will continue to function independently and that founder Lawrence Gelb will stay on as company president and CEO.

“As we embark on this exciting period in our history, we couldn’t have asked for a better partner,” Gelb says. “Stanford exemplifies CareCounsel’s longstanding service commitment to caring and educating individuals through compassion, respect, integrity and teamwork. This is a match made in heaven.”

Amir Dan Rubin, president and CEO of Stanford, says CareCounsel will be able to expand and enhance its offerings with the increased resources and volume of medical expertise that come with the merger.

“We are delighted to be collaborating with CareCounsel, which has a solid track record of health care advocacy for consumers and has earned the confidence of major employers in the Bay Area and beyond,” Rubin says.

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