MOUNTLAKE TERRACE, Wash. and RENTON, Wash., May 16, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Premera Blue Cross and Providence St. Joseph Health today announced a new contract that ensures Premera members will retain in-network access to one of the nation’s largest health systems—Providence St. Joseph Health—through 2024.

Premera Blue Cross

The two organizations also announced that beginning January 1, Premera members will have access to a new comprehensive program for patients seeking a simple, high-quality option for knee and hip replacements.

The announcements represent prominent examples of a national trend toward greater collaboration between payers and providers.

«Our collaboration is built on the foundational belief that strong relationships between providers, patients and health insurance companies are the keys to lasting health outcomes,» said Dr. John Espinola, executive vice president of healthcare services for Premera. «Only by working closely together can we make health care simpler, easier and more affordable. We can’t do it alone.»

The new contract places Providence St. Joseph Health as one of the leading choices for Premera customers who purchase their health insurance on the state’s individual market. The two organizations expect to leverage their shared expertise over the coming years to create new and innovative products and services that make the complexities of health care simpler and easier for patients.

«Across all of our communities in the Western U.S., we are broadening our efforts to provide access to the best care. This is to ensure all of our patients receive predictable and comprehensive service regardless of where they access our care,» said Kevin Fleming, chief operating officer of clinical program services at Providence St. Joseph Health.

As part of its joint replacement program, Premera named seven Providence St. Joseph Health facilities across Washington state as Centers of Excellence for joint replacement procedures. The Centers of Excellence designation recognizes Providence St. Joseph Health as a leader in meeting high-quality standards established by the Bree Collaborative, a partnership of public and private health care stakeholders working to improve health care in Washington state.

Providence St. Joseph Health facilities were selected from among nearly two dozen facilities that were considered as part of a total joint replacement request for proposal offered last October. Premera evaluated how well the applicants met guidelines for quality such as those established by the Bree Collaborative.

Pending regulatory approval, Premera beginning Jan. 1, 2020, will offer its small and large group members access to a one-stop-shopping total joint replacement program that includes pre- and post-surgery procedures, member education, care coordination and travel support.

The total joint replacement program will be available at seven Providence St. Joseph Health facilities: Swedish First Hill, Seattle; Swedish Ballard, Seattle; Swedish Edmonds; Providence St. Peter Hospital, Olympia; Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center, Spokane; Providence Regional Medical Center, Everett; and Kadlec Regional Medical Center, Tri Cities.

About Premera Blue Cross
Premera Blue Cross, a not-for-profit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association based in Mountlake Terrace, Wash., is a leading health plan in the Pacific Northwest, providing comprehensive health benefits and tailored services to approximately 2 million people, from individuals to Fortune 100 companies.

About Providence St. Joseph
Providence St. Joseph Health is a national, not-for-profit Catholic health system comprising a diverse family of organizations and driven by a belief that health is a human right. With 51 hospitals, 829 physician clinics, senior services, supportive housing and many other health and educational services, the health system and its partners employ more than 119,000 caregivers serving communities across seven states – Alaska, California, Montana, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas and Washington, with system offices in Renton, Wash., and Irvine, Calif.


Providence St. Joseph Health (PRNewsfoto/Providence St. Joseph Health)

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