Costs could go up at several South Puget Sound emergency rooms unless Regence BlueShield settles a dispute with a group of doctors.
The News Tribune reports more than 1 million people in Washington received a letter from Regence BlueShield warning of higher out-of-pocket costs beginning July 1 for people who visit emergency rooms that are operated by the Franciscan Health System and two others.
It’s not clear how much the increase will be, and there is some confusion about whether July 1 will be the actual date. Sept. 30 or Oct. 31 has also been suggested.
The affected emergency rooms would be St. Joseph Medical Center in Tacoma; St. Anthony Hospital in Gig Harbor; St. Clare Hospital in Lakewood; St. Francis Hospital in Federal Way; St. Elizabeth Hospital in Enumclaw; Cascade Valley Hospital in Arlington; and Island Hospital in Anacortes.