Healthcare Business News

Regional News/West: Molina adds Seattle Children's to network

By Modern Healthcare
Posted: October 26, 2013 - 12:01 am ET

After suing state officials over the adequacy of provider networks in some plans sold on the new insurance exchange, Seattle Children's Hospital is now part of Molina Healthcare's network.

Seattle Children's announced a settlement with Molina and added two more targets to the lawsuit: Premera Blue Cross and BridgeSpan Health Co. The initial lawsuit named only Molina and Coordinated Care Corp.

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Eric Earling, a spokesman for Premera, said its exchange plans will cover emergency care as well as “unique services” at full benefit status, which was part of the payer's discussions with the insurance commissioner when the plans were reviewed. Asked if it is still in further negotiations with Seattle Children's, he said, “At this point, our network has been approved.”

Regence Blue Shield, which owns BridgeSpan, did not respond to a request for comment.

Seattle Children's appears to be the first provider in the country to file litigation challenging the narrow networks many insurers are creating for their exchange plans. But there likely will be others as the issue plays out across the country, particularly affecting higher-cost and specialty hospitals.

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