For now, Regence BlueShield customers can breathe easier about emergency room costs.
On June 28, Regence sent a letter that said a contract with Northwest Emergency Physicians has been extended. The letter does not give an end date for the extension. Regence is confident a long-term contract will be negotiated, according to the letter.
Earlier in June, Regence BlueShield customers got a letter warning of higher costs in some local emergency rooms. The heart of the dispute is a request by the doctors who staff emergency rooms for higher reimbursement rates for care. The end of a contract with Northwest Emergency Physicians would have meant higher costs for emergency room care for Regence customers.