First Choice/Harrison deadline extended

674094_5539855_ver1.0_640_480-1We can pass along some hopeful news for West Sound residents covered by First Choice Health plans.

The contract between the health insurance carrier and Harrison Medical Center has been extended to Sept. 30, according to Scott Thompson, spokesman for Harrison parent company CHI Franciscan Health.

The contract between First Choice and Harrison was set to terminate on Sept. 1 if a new deal couldn’t be reached this month.

Thompson said the temporary extension will allow the sides more time to negotiate.

“It’s a good sign, from our perspective, that we want to keep talking,” he said.

Thompson said records indicate more than 1,300 patients would be affected if the First Choice contract did terminate.

The contract applies only to Harrison’s hospital facilities. Harrison HealthPartners providers and clinics are covered under a separate contract with First Choice, and would remain in-network if the contract terminated. CHI Franciscan facilities would also remain in-network.

This post was updated with additional information from Thompson.

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