BEND, OR -- St. Charles Health System has come to agreement with Pacific Source for patients enrolled in the Oregon Health Plan and Medicare Advantage through 2024.
Dr. Mark Hallett, St. Charles’ chief clinical officer, praised the insurance provider. “Pacific source has done a great job of partnering with us to create a new process that will allow our cancer specialists to be able to care for not only Medicare advantage but all Pacific Source patients,”
Dr. Hallett tells KBND News the deal streamlines service, “The agreement with Pacific Source reduces administrative burden and improves access and speed and reliability of cancer care for people of Central Oregon.”
Pacific Source is the first company to secure an agreement since St. Charles announced in August it would re-evaluate its contracts with Medicare Advantage plans.
Chief Financial Officer Matt Swafford tells KBND News the deal could guide negotiations with other insurance providers, “This is a groundbreaking opportunity for a health system and an insurance company to take the large numbers of administrative burden that are quoted out there and actually drive specific levels of change that impact patients’ lives directly.”
“The challenges are thorny that makes the discussions challenging. But Pacific Source has really partnered with us extremely well in that collaboration. And I want to give them credit for stepping up and meeting our concerns and our mutual concerns for the benefit of advancing care for patients in our community.” Swafford says the deal covers not only Medicare but all Pacific Source policies through the end of 2024, and will then be reviewed.
The health system is still negotiating with other providers. Officials say the goal is to have deals in place before Medicare open enrollment starts on October 15th.
A statement released Friday from Pacific Source president and CEO Dr. John “Espi” Espinola, also praised the deal, “This agreement is a positive result for our region’s Medicare-eligible seniors, and also some of its most vulnerable community members,”
“Pacific Source will continue to advocate for our members to make certain that they can continue to access affordable, high-quality healthcare in Central Oregon. We are pleased to have secured this successful outcome with St. Charles and will continue to work with them to improve the Medicare Advantage experience for their patients.”