• Two of Region’s Most Trusted Names in Healthcare Join Forces

    Shriners Hospitals for Children® ― Spokane and Premera Blue Cross Partner to Provide Specialty Care to Children and Families in Eastern Washington

    SPOKANE, WA - (March 13, 2012) - Shriners Hospitals for Children® ― Spokane, a non-profit pediatric hospital dedicated to improving the lives of children, and Premera Blue Cross, the leading health plan in Washington state, today announced an agreement that will provide Premera members in the Pacific Northwest with increased access to pediatric care. Premera members will now be able to use their medical benefits at Shriners Hospitals for Children – Spokane and receive care from some of the region’s leading experts in specialty orthopaedic care for children.

    The new contract is the culmination of a decade-long relationship between the two organizations. Through a legacy of community support with Shriners Hospitals for Children, Premera Blue Cross executives encouraged Shriners to explore a new business model that added traditional health plan billing.

    “Premera Blue Cross has always been a vital community partner for us. They were the first regional health plan who came to the table when we were looking for ideas to work in partnership with third party payers and plan sponsors,” said Gene Raynaud, administrator for Shriners Hospitals for Children ― Spokane.

    “Premera’s encouragement and expertise helped us initiate a discussion with our parent organization that resulted in our newfound ability to see patients with healthcare coverage.”

    The longstanding relationship between the two organizations is built on a mutual commitment to the health and wellness of the communities they serve. Over the last ten years, Premera has supported Shriners through philanthropic donations and community programs that benefit Shriners’ patients. Additionally, for more than a decade, Premera has sponsored a summer program that allows all Shriners patients and staff to spend a day at the baseball park with the Spokane Indians, Spokane’s minor league baseball team.

    “Shriners Hospitals for Children is a valuable community resource and Premera has always been committed to doing whatever we can to ensure the quality, specialized pediatric care Shriners Hospitals for Children provides remains available to families in the Pacific Northwest,” said Bill Akers, vice president and Eastern Washington general manager at Premera Blue Cross.

    “After years of supporting them as a community partner, we are pleased to take our relationship to the next level by entering into a contract with Shriners. This contract expands our network of quality healthcare providers in Eastern Washington and gives our members access to some of the region’s top experts in orthopaedic surgical care for children.”

    About Shriners Hospitals for Children

    Shriners Hospitals for Children® is a health care system of 22 hospitals dedicated to improving the lives of children by providing pediatric specialty care, innovative research and outstanding teaching programs to medical professionals.  Children up to age 18 with orthopaedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries, and cleft lip and palate are eligible for care and receive all services in a family-centered environment, regardless of the patients' ability to pay. Shriners Hospitals for Children® relies on the generosity of donors to deliver this mission every day. For more information, please visit www.shrinershospitalsforchildren.org. 

    About Premera Blue Cross

    Premera Blue Cross is a leading health plan in the Pacific Northwest, providing comprehensive health benefits and tailored services to more than 1.4 million people, from individuals to Fortune 100 companies. Premera is committed to providing its members peace of mind about their healthcare coverage. The company offers innovative health and wellness solutions focused on quality outcomes for patients and controlling costs. Premera Blue Cross, which has operated in Washington since 1933, is a not-for-profit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. Premera Blue Cross is a member of a family of companies based in Mountlake Terrace, Washington, providing health, life, vision, dental, stop-loss, disability, workforce wellness and other related products and services. The family of companies employs approximately 3,000 people and provides healthcare coverage and related services to 1.7 million members. Please visitwww.PremeraNews.com for more information.