Idaho health insurer Regence inks new deal with network that includes St. Luke's

adutton@idahostatesman.comApril 8, 2014 

Regence BlueShield of Idaho, one of the state's largest insurers, has a new agreement with the SELECT Medical Network, composed mainly of St. Luke's Health System providers.

The deal is similar to one that St. Luke's inked with Utah-based insurer SelectHealth — which is totally unrelated to the SELECT network — according to a spokesman for St. Luke's.

The "total cost of care" agreement gives more than 1,300 health-care providers in the SELECT network a financial incentive to take better care of patients. If they meet certain goals, they get a share of the money saved.

The SELECT physicians will manage "all quality and cost of care for Regence members," including prescriptions, preventive care, what kinds of services they get and where they get them, according to Rachelle Cunningham, a Regence strategic communications employee.

The agreement is aimed at lowering health-care costs, according to Regence.

Regence BlueShield has about 150,000 members in Idaho. But the company has identified about 10,000 members who qualify for the program — based on the number who've had at least two visits to the doctor in the St. Luke's service area.

The arrangement does not apply to plans sold by BridgeSpan, Regence's sister company that offered plans on the Idaho health-insurance exchange.

It also does not affect the lower-priced "in-network" status of hospitals and health-care providers that are not part of SELECT. In other words, Regence members will not have to change doctors as a result of the agreement, the company said.

Audrey Dutton: 377-6448, @IDS_Audrey

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