PeaceHealth and Regence Blueshield announced they have reached a new two-year contract that ensures Regence members can continue receiving care at PeaceHealth facilities at in-network rates.
The organizations, one a major Catholic heath care provider—and operator of St. Joseph hospital in Bellingham—and the other a major nonprofit health insurer, were in tight negotiations as a June 30 deadline to renew their contract approached. If a deal had not be reached, thousands of Whatcom County residents would have had to pay more or travel outside of the county for medical care.
The new contract begins July 1, according to a press release. Details of the deal, including specific reimbursement rates, were not disclosed.
The agreement covers PeaceHealth Southwest, St. John, St. Joseph and Peace Island, as well as Peace Health Medical Group offices in those service areas.
Earlier this month, Regence was required to notify its members that PeaceHealth would become an out-of-network provider by July 1, if a new agreement was not reached. Regence sent notification letters to more than 20,000 of its members, including those in Whatcom County.