Premera Blue Cross and Vera Whole Health Join Forces to Put Members First and Bring Advanced Primary Care to Spokane

  • New primary care centers will add much-needed access and quality of care to member health options

    Mountlake Terrace and Seattle, Wash. — (August 6, 2019) — Premera Blue Cross and Vera Whole Health today announced they are collaborating to open two advanced primary care centers in Spokane, offering Premera members more access to primary care, an improved approach to their healthcare and a better customer experience.

    The first of the two care centers opens January 1 at 9001 N. Country Homes Blvd., with a second center to open in mid to late 2020. The centers will operate under the name Vivacity Care Center. They are part of a growing trend of health insurance companies integrating primary care into health plans in order to expand options for members and their families.

    “We are taking this bold step to build more primary care facilities in Spokane because we believe no one should have to wait months to see their care provider or feel rushed once they are in the office,” said Dr. John Espinola, executive vice president of health care services for Premera. “Our goal is simple: to delight our customers by creating a better overall experience--one they have come to expect from other industries but has been sorely lacking in health care.”

    Among the innovative and member-friendly features to be offered at the centers:

    • Access to multiple, full-time, dedicated care teams
    • 30-60 minute appointments for whole health exams
    • Up to 40 percent of scheduling time reserved for same or next day appointments
    • 24-7 phone and video access to doctors when outside care center hours
    • Clear and easy to understand pricing
    • One stop shopping that includes prescription fills, lab work, radiology, X-rays and representatives to answer health insurance and health care questions
    • Behavioral health and lifestyle coaching

    When fully operational each center will employ up to 40 people, including doctors, nurses, behavioral health professionals, health coaches, medical assistants, administrative staff and radiology technicians.

    Premera is collaborating with Seattle-based Vera for a number of reasons, including Vera’s proven clinical model, high member engagement and satisfaction, and their experience in the Washington market. The company also is the first on-site care center provider in the United States to earn a Certificate of Validation by the Validation Institute® for sound population health cost management.

    “We are excited to collaborate with Premera, an organization that shares our foundational belief that relationships between care providers and members are the key to lasting health outcomes,” said Ryan Schmid, president and CEO of Vera. “Everyone should have access to healthcare designed to achieve optimum social, psychological and physical well-being.”

    Vera Whole Health will serve as a strategic and clinical collaborator with Premera. The centers were designed following months of hands-on collaboration with Spokane consumers to deliver member-focused personalized care. The two organizations are focusing on primary care because evidence shows that people who visit their family doctors regularly are healthier and have fewer emergency room visits.

    Vera is currently hiring family practice doctors, nurse practitioners and whole health coaches to staff the centers. Interested candidates can visit the careers page at Vera Whole Health to learn more about openings at the centers and how to apply. Additional job openings are expected to be posted in the coming months.


    About Premera Blue Cross

    Premera Blue Cross, a not-for-profit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association based in Mountlake Terrace, Wash., is a leading health plan in the Pacific Northwest, providing comprehensive health benefits and tailored services to approximately 2 million people, from individuals to Fortune 100 companies.

    About Vera Whole Health

    Vera Whole Health is a national leader in advanced primary care. Its model is uniquely designed to help people achieve optimum social, psychological and physical well-being – an outcome that’s neither probable nor affordable within the current sick-care system. Vera is the first provider in the United States to earn a Certificate of Validation by the Validation Institute for sound population health cost outcomes. Learn more about the health revolution at VeraWholeHealth.com.


    Media contact

    Dani Chung
    Premera Blue Cross
    425-361-3021
    dani.chung@premera.com