MultiCare agreed to not increase costs for these patients who already had a care relationship with one of their affiliated doctors. As a result, it impacts select Premera members who received health coverage through their employer, and who are mainly located in Pierce, Spokane, Thurston, Kitsap and south King counties.
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“By managing the medical costs for patients to a flat trend, this new agreement is estimated to help prevent more than $200 million in costs for Premera members over five years,” said Courtney Wallace, Premera’s director of strategic communication, in an email.
In addition to this agreement, covered patients who seek care at MultiCare will receive more personalized health care, a press release from Premera said. This includes data sharing between Premera and MultiCare at the point of care, which will help simplify the administrative process and increase timely access to appropriate care. It will also provide navigation services to help patients find care for complex and chronic conditions. It will additionally provide virtual care that integrates with MultiCare doctors and the health system’s medical records. This includes remote monitoring with video visits and house calls by physicians for severe and ongoing patient needs.
Physicians of Southwest Washington will manage the care coordination and other elements of the new agreement, the press release states.
Premera and MultiCare launched their alliance in Washington in 2018 with collaboration on Peak Care, an exclusive health plan designed for Premera members seeking care at MultiCare in Pierce, Spokane and Thurston counties.
Premera Blue Cross is a large health plan in the Pacific Northwest,a nd MultiCare is a not-for-profit health care organization with more than 20,000 team members. It founded Tacoma’s first hospital and today is the alrgest community-based, locally governed health system in the state, the press release states.