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HealthCare Checkup

The Seattle Times health-care team tracks the local impact of the Affordable Care Act.

August 21, 2014 at 7:38 PM

Healthplanfinder: ‘Moderately effective,’ could improve

How does Washington’s online exchange marketplace compare with those in other states? As part of an ongoing study, the nonprofit Urban Institute assessed how well state exchanges created  under the Affordable Care Act provide the sort of information consumers want to know about insurance plans they’re considering buying. The report — Physician Network Transparency: How Easy…

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Comments | Topics: Affordable Care Act, Bill Hinkle, Don Conant

August 21, 2014 at 4:09 PM

Seattle Children’s and BridgeSpan still at odds over network

Seattle Children’s is pushing on with its case against the Office of the Insurance Commissioner, contending it illegally approved BridgeSpan Health’s 2014 individual plans for sale in Healthplanfinder, Washington’s online exchange marketplace. BridgeSpan, an affiliate of Regence BlueShield, did not include Seattle Children’s in its provider network. Children’s, in briefs filed with the state’s hearings office, argued that…

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August 14, 2014 at 3:42 PM

Washington health exchange says computer, payment problems resolving

The Associated Press Officials at Washington’s health exchange say they’re making progress on fixing the computer problems that have kept thousands of people from using their new health insurance. At a meeting of the Health Benefit Exchange Board on Thursday, the agency’s associate operations director reported that nearly 7,700 people have had their payment issues resolved. Bob…

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Comments | Topics: billing problems, Washington Health Benefit Exchange

August 8, 2014 at 6:03 PM

Oracle sues Oregon over health exchange fiasco

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oracle Corp. is suing Oregon in a continuing fiasco over the state’s health insurance exchange, saying Oregon is continuing to use the technology company’s software despite $23 million in disputed bills. Oracle’s breach-of-contract lawsuit against Cover Oregon was filed Friday in federal court in Portland. It alleges that state officials repeatedly promised…

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Comments | More in General News | Topics: Affordable Care Act

August 7, 2014 at 5:33 PM

Frustrated health-exchange customers can pay insurers directly

By DONNA GORDON BLANKINSHIP The Associated Press A major fix to problems plaguing the state’s answer to health-care reform was announced Thursday, allowing exchange customers to pay insurers directly, as they do in some other states. While direct payments already have been an option, Gov. Jay Inslee, Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler, and the Washington Health Benefit Exchange made…

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Comments | Topics: Mike Kreidler, Washington Health Benefit Exchange, Washington Healthplanfinder

August 5, 2014 at 12:54 PM

Gallup: Washington 4th in reducing uninsured residents

The percentage of Washington residents without health insurance dropped from 16.8 percent last year to 10.7 percent by mid-2014 according to a national survey released Tuesday by Gallup. Only Arkansas, Kentucky and Delaware had larger declines in the percentage of uninsured residents. Oregon ranked 7th. The reductions come as a result of the Affordable…

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Comments | Topics: Affordable Care Act, health insurance, Medicaid

July 29, 2014 at 8:20 AM

King County Public Health chief stepping down

Dr. David Fleming, director and health officer for Public Health – Seattle & King  County, has resigned, effective Aug. 11. In a statement, Fleming, 60, said his “personal plans and needs” don’t allow him to make the long-term leadership commitment the agency now requires. Fleming, who has led Public Health for seven years, recently endured severe budget…

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Comments | More in General News | Topics: Fleming, Health Department, resign

July 22, 2014 at 8:45 PM

PeaceHealth stops affiliation plans in Snohomish and Skagit counties

PeaceHealth, a Catholic health-care system, has delayed indefinitely its planned affiliations with small hospitals in Snohomish and Skagit counties, citing higher-than-expected costs in the effort to roll out a medical information-technology system. Nancy Steiger, PeaceHealth CEO and chief mission officer for its Northwest network, said PeaceHealth could not make a final commitment at this time to Cascade Valley…

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Comments | Topics: Cascade Valley Hospital, Nancy Steiger, PeaceHealth

July 21, 2014 at 8:19 PM

Washington health exchange sounds the alarm, questions Deloitte

One message came through loud and clear at today’s meeting of the Washington Health Benefit Exchange’s Operations Committee: It may not be time to panic about the health exchange’s problem-riddled invoicing and payments system, but it is time to sound the alarm and get all hands on deck. “We are really out of rope on this…

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Comments | Topics: Deloitte, Washington Health Benefit Exchange

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