Written by The Business Journal Staff
Kaweah Delta has negotiated a new arrangement with Anthem Blue Cross that it hopes will alleviate the majority of billing frustrations experienced after visits to its urgent care centers.
Effective last Friday, people who have Anthem Blue Cross through independent policies or through employers such as school districts, cities or the County of Tulare, among others, can visit Kaweah Delta Urgent Care Centers, expect to pay their typical co-pay amount (for an urgent care visit), and receive a bill that is reflective of being seen at any freestanding urgent care center.
“We heard our community’s frustration with this contract loud and clear. We listened and have come up with a solution that we know those covered by Anthem Blue Cross will be happy with, especially as we enter cold and flu season,” said Gary Herbst, CEO of Kaweah Delta.
Previously, Anthem Blue Cross treated Kaweah Delta Urgent Care Centers on Court Street and at Demaree and Flagstaff as if it were an extension of Kaweah Delta’s Emergency Department, rather than as urgent care centers. This left patients of Anthem Blue Cross with bills that were reflective of having received emergency care rather than urgent care services.
The Kaweah Delta clinics and urgent care centers (other than Kaweah Delta Medical Foundation) do operate on the hospital’s license and, as such, they are subject to higher standards of construction and are required to be staffed differently. As such, they cost more to build and operate than independent, freestanding clinics and urgent care centers.
“While this new arrangement with Anthem Blue Cross will reduce our urgent care center revenue, Kaweah Delta is committed to making healthcare affordable and available to all patients, so this was the right decision to make,” Herbst said.