BURLEY — Patients with Regence Blue Shield of Idaho will once again receive in-network care at Cassia Regional Hospital after the hospital and insurance company reached an agreement.
The insurance company dropped the hospital to out-of-network status in 2016 after the two failed to settle on a new costs contract.
Cassia Regional, part of the giant Intermountain Healthcare system, has always accepted patients with Blue Cross of Idaho, along with other Blue Cross/Blue Shield plans and other major health insurance companies, with the exception of Regence Blue Shield of Idaho, according a hospital press release.
“This renewed partnership matters because it benefits those whom we’re here to serve,” said Ben Smalley, Cassia Regional Hospital administrator. “I am so pleased that more people in our wonderful community have the option to choose Cassia Regional Hospital for the care and treatment they need.”
The inclusion of Regence Blue Shield of Idaho will expand the coverage for Mini-Cassia and surrounding areas.
After the hospital split ways with Regence in 2016, Regence referred people to Minidoka Memorial Hospital and St. Luke’s Magic Valley Medical Center in Twin Falls.
The change affected more than 4,300 people in Mini-Cassia, forcing some to drive long distances for routine medical care from new doctors unfamiliar with their health histories.
The hospital administrator at the time told the Times-News that it was wrong that patients were forced to go elsewhere and that it was a difficult situation for the hospital.
When the insurance company dropped the hospital, it caused major employers in Mini-Cassia who purchased the insurance for their employees to seek other insurance companies for coverage.
Afterward, Minidoka Memorial Hospital officials said they saw a surge of new patients and physicians seeking practicing privileges.
Intermountain Healthcare is a Utah-based not-for-profit system of 24 hospitals, 225 clinics, a medical group with some 2,500 employed physicians and advanced care practitioners, a health insurance company called SelectHealth, and other health services.
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