Washington hospital may leave Kaiser Permanente's insurance network

Kittitas Valley Healthcare in Ellensburg, Wash., is planning on leaving Kaiser Permanente's insurance network, according to the Daily Record.

A contract between Kaiser Permanente and Kittitas Valley Healthcare will be terminated July 31, 2021, if a resolution isn't reached before then. After that, Kittitas Valley Healthcare hospitals, physicians, clinics and nonemergent services would be billed as out-of-network for Kaiser Permanente members. 

Kittitas Valley Healthcare CEO Julie Petersen told the Daily Record that the hospital's decision to leave Kaiser Permanente's network comes after years of trying to improve their partnership. She told the newspaper that the hospital is seeing more denials and burdensome prior authorization. Kaiser's reimbursement makes up 6 percent of the hospital's revenue.

In an emailed statement to Becker's, Kaiser Permanente Washington said it has a long-standing relationship with Kittitas Valley Hospital, and is "committed to working with Kittitas Valley Hospital to resolve any contractual issues during active renewal discussions taking place in summer 2021, and intends to maintain a strong working relationship that supports affordable access to care across central and eastern Washington. We expect Kittitas Valley Hospital to continue to share our goal of a mutually agreeable contractual relationship so we can continue prioritizing access and care for our community."

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