BELLINGHAM — Regence BlueShield and PeaceHealth announced today they have reached agreement on a new multi-year contract. Regence members in northwest Washington will continue to pay in-network rates for medical care received from PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center and PeaceHealth Medical Group providers.

“We are pleased to renew our contract with PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center and the PeaceHealth Medical Group,” said Beth Johnson, vice president of provider services for Regence BlueShield. “Both parties worked hard to come to an agreement that is equitable, and preserves access for our members to quality, affordable health care in Whatcom County.”

“As a healthcare provider in this community for 120 years, it was important for us to work hard to ensure continued access to high quality, compassionate care,” said Nancy Steiger, CEO and chief mission officer for PeaceHealth St. Joseph. “We are pleased to have reached an agreement with Regence BlueShield so that we can continue to offer our community access to the quality, cost-effective care, close to home.”

The new agreement runs through June 2013, and includes a joint commitment to find areas of collaboration on reducing healthcare costs and engaging in discussions that advance the Governor’s Challenge to the healthcare field. Specific details of the contract, including reimbursement rates, are confidential.

Regence members in Whatcom, Skagit and San Juan counties will be receiving letters notifying them of the contract agreement. In the meantime, they can continue to use PeaceHealth providers and receive coverage at their in-network benefit level.
About Regence BlueShield

Regence BlueShield has more than one million members in the state of Washington, and a provider network of more than 12,000 participating physicians and 89 hospitals. Regence employs 2,000 people throughout the state of Washington.

Regence BlueShield is a leading health plan in Washington with more than one million members, offering health, life and dental insurance. Regence is the largest health insurer in the Northwest / Intermountain Region, serving more than 2.5 million members as Regence BlueShield (in Washington), Regence BlueShield of Idaho, Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon and Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Utah. Each plan is a nonprofit independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Regence is committed to improving the health of our members and our communities, and to transforming our health care system. For more information, please visit or

About PeaceHealth

PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center, which includes a not-for-profit full-service hospital sponsored by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace, is part of the PeaceHealth system begun 120 years ago with medical centers in Alaska, Washington and Oregon. In addition to the hospital and PeaceHealth Medical Group, PeaceHealth’s northwest Washington services include several Centers of Excellence, a diagnostic laboratory, a joint venture outpatient imaging service, a specialty clinic in Sedro-Woolley and a critical access hospital being developed on San Juan Island.