Legacy Health and Regence BlueCross are now facing the end of their contract with no agreement reached

Legacy Health is currently in contract negotiations with Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon, and if an agreement is not reached, patients could see an increase in their healthcare costs. The contract between the two organizations expires on Sunday, and if a new agreement is not finalized, patients insured with Regence could find that their providers are out of network, resulting in higher costs.

Legacy’s chief population health officer, Merrin Permut, has notified 200,000 customers of the potential contract termination and advised those with scheduled appointments after March 31 to contact their insurance company for information on in-network vs. out-of-network costs. While it is not uncommon for contract negotiations to have moments of brinkmanship, both sides in this situation seem to be taking a tough stance.

Regence claims they offered Legacy a competitive contract that has not yet been accepted or rejected while Legacy points out that Regence has been profitable and stockpiling cash while healthcare providers like Legacy have been struggling in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the face of a reported loss of $172 million in the last fiscal year, Legacy has emphasized the disparity between its financial situation and that of Regence, which reported a 4.8% profit on billions of dollars in revenue. The fate of this contract negotiation will determine the future costs and network access for Legacy patients insured with Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon.

By Sophia Gonzalez

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