|By Ed Friedrich, Kitsap Sun, Bremerton, Wash.|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
The hospital and Regency BlueShield haven't been able to reach agreement on new contract rates. The existing deal expires
"Basically it boils down to how much they're going to pay out of their pocket," Regence spokeswoman
About 10,000 to 11,000 Harrison patients are covered by
The sticking point is reimbursement.
"Our concern is that we maintain an economically sustainable health care system," Cunningham said. "They're concerned with making what they feel they need to make. We need to keep talking and reach something that's acceptable to everyone, including our members."
Harrison sent an update to patients Tuesday saying the medical center tried to reach a deal with Regence that helps it keep up with increasing costs of technology, medicines, labor and energy but failed to negotiate reimbursement rates that are fair and comparable with other insurers.
"We understand these negotiations are sometimes tense and tenuous and both sides want to make sure they can meet in the middle," Thompson said. "We want to make sure we're providing the best affordable health care for our patients in
Harrison and another insurer,
If Harrison and Regence can't reach accord, patients will have to pay out-of-network costs to continue there or find a preferred hospital or provider. The nearest hospital for many is St. Anthony's in
For urgent care, Regence does cover
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