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PeaceHealth and Regence reached a new two-year agreement yesterday. The contract ensures Regence members can continue to receive their care at PeaceHealth at in-network rates. The new contract begins July 1, 2013 resulting in no interruption of in-network coverage for Regence members.

This 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 PeaceHealth would become out-of-network by July 1, 2103 if a new agreement was not reached. Both organizations understand the impact this has on members and patients and are pleased to assure members there will not be interruption in care or benefit coverage.

“We have agreed to work with Regence throughout this next contract term to explore new approaches to bend the trend of overall health care costs downward, while building on the excellent quality we provide,” said Kevin Walstrom, senior vice president/chief financial officer of PeaceHealth. “Our touchstone in these negotiations was all about sustaining our mission and ensuring the entire community has access to high quality health care. We value collaboration and appreciate Regence working with us in that spirit.”

“In order to create a more economically sustainable health care system, it is critical we move toward paying doctors and hospitals for quality health outcomes versus the number of services they provide,” said Jared Short, president of Regence Insurance Holding Company. “Our new agreement with PeaceHealth begins to move us in that direction, and we look forward to working with them on finding new ways to improve the quality and cost-effectiveness of care for our members and their patients. At the end of the day, keeping health care costs affordable for our members remains our top priority.”

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