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.

Read more at The News Tribune

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