Providence and Regence BlueCross seal deal on insurance partnership

Providence Health & Services and Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon have finalized a contract that will keep Providence in network for patients with Regence insurance.

The two Oregon healthcare giants announced an agreement Monday, on the last day of their current contract, after months of negotiations. A failure to reach an agreement could have removed more than 260,000 patients with Regence insurance from the Providence network, according to a statement from the healthcare provider.

During negotiations, Providence argued that it would need to charge higher prices to insurance companies to keep up with rising healthcare costs, while Regence said the price hikes were not realistic. In a December statement, Regence said the price hikes would cost the company $144 million in one year.

“We recognize the uncertainty these negotiations caused for some Regence members and appreciate their patience as we worked with Providence leadership to achieve reimbursement rates that are more sustainable for our members and customers,” Regence said in a statement Monday.

The terms of the agreement are not public. A Providence spokesperson did not provide details of the agreement and did not comment on the $144 million cost increase Regence cited last month.

“We are grateful for Regence’s acknowledgement of our need to meet rising costs and compensate our caregivers, and we look forward to working in continued partnership and collaboration with Regence to serve our patients and communities with world-class health care services,” Providence said in a Monday statement.

About the Author: This report was written for The Oregonian/Oregon Live by Carlos Fuentes.

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