Harrison Medical Center will
fall out of network with insurer First Choice Health if the two sides
can’t agree on a new contract by Sept. 1.
Bob Hinman, First Choice vice president for network management,
said contract negotiations with Harrison have reached an
First Choice believes reimbursement rates Harrison receives
under the current contract are unfairly high, Hinman
said. He was hopeful talks would continue.
“I think that’s everyone’s hope we could come to
agreement on appropriate terms,” he said.
Hinman said First Choice has roughly 3,000 customers
in Harrison’s market, and has included the hospital in its network
since the 1990s.
The insurer sent a notice to clients warning them
the contract with Harrison may terminate in September. If
Harrison is dropped from the provider network, First Choice
customers will have to pay much higher out-of-pocket costs to
access services at the hospital.
The contract in jeopardy only covers Harrison Medical Center.
Harrison HealthPartners physicians have a separate contract with
First Choice, Hinman said.
Representatives of CHI
Franciscan Health, Harrison’s parent company, remained
confident an agreement would be reached.
“We are in active contract discussions with First
Choice Health and anticipate to have a resolution before the
September 1 deadline,” CHI Franciscan spokesman Shawn Jennison said
in a statement.
Harrison has had rocky relations with insurance
carriers over the past few years. A contract between the
UnitedHealthcare terminated in December 2013. Harrison
rejoined United’s network in April 2015.
Harrison and Regence BlueShield
failed to renew a contract in August 2014, prompting widespread
outcry among Kitsap customers. Regence and Harrison
signed a new agreement in February 2015.
First Choice Health is a Seattle-based health
care company owned by physicians and hospitals.
If you have insurance through First Choice I would
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