Olive branch extended as Kaiser, PeaceHealth cooperate to keep patients closer to home

New executives at both Oakland, Calif.-based Kaiser Permanente and Vancouver, Wash.-based PeaceHealth have renewed discussions about Kaiser sending patients to PeaceHealth providers to reduce the distance patients have to travel to receive care, according to The Daily News.

For many years, Kaiser Permanente sent patients in Longview, Wash., to its Sunnyside Medical Center in Clackamas, Ore., which is more than an hour's drive away, rather than to local PeaceHealth providers.

Recent changes in executives at both organizations may change that policy, however.

"We are agreeing to look at ways to keep people close to home," Nancy Steiger, RN, chief executive of PeaceHealth's network in the Lower Columbia Region of the Pacific Northwest, told TDN. "We're glad to be back in the conversation."

According to Jennifer Bard, MD, the physician who runs Kaiser's clinics in Washington's Cowlitz and Clark counties, the decision to meet with PeaceHealth was made with patients in mind.

"It's exciting that the two organizations are going to be working together and having this conversation that will be beneficial to everyone in the community," Dr. Bard told TDN.

Kaiser and PeaceHealth also announced a partnership recently with the goal of improving the health of people in Cowlitz County. Neither party, however, has released details on the programs related to the Cowlitz County effort, according to the report.



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