PeaceHealth and Regence Blue Shield have been engaged in contract renewal negotiations for the past several months. Each has put forth proposals, but have been unable, as yet, to agree on a few key elements of this critically important contract.
Those in our community who are covered by Regence insurance are receiving letters from Regence that indicate PeaceHealth will be classified as an “out-of-network provider” starting July 1, 2013. According to the letter, if no agreement is reached it will result in larger co-pays, or out-of-pocket costs, for patients.
We understand how worrisome receiving such a letter could be, and we want to assure our community that PeaceHealth will continue to negotiate in good faith, and we remain hopeful that all parties can come to an agreement soon. The reason for the letter is that insurance companies are required to send out such a notice if the conditions of a contract are not extended or renegotiated within 30 days of the contract end date. PeaceHealth is hopeful that we can come to agreement before June 30, the actual end date of the Regence PeaceHealth contract.
The PeaceHealth touchstone in these negotiations is our mission to promote health and ensure access to high quality healthcare for the entire community. We value collaboration and will continue to approach these discussions in that spirit. We trust Regence will stay at the negotiating table with us until an agreement is reached. Our mutual obligation is to patients who want to continue to receive care in their own community from long-standing, trusted providers.