The hospital district has lost its final appeal to receive Kaiser Permanente HMO certification, according to hospital district superintendent Barbara Wayland. She advised the district’s board of directors at its regular monthly meeting on August 5.
According to industry sources, Kaiser has been pulling back on clinics not owned by themselves. Clinics on Orcas Island and UnityCare in Ferndale have lost or are in the process of losing certification from Kaiser in recent months. What this means for patients is that they will not be covered at the Point Roberts Clinic if they have Kaiser Permanente HMO insurance.
Interestingly, some Kaiser insurance customers have been allowed by Kaiser to continue using their benefits at the clinic. Others have been refused permission.
Wayland told the directors that she was researching the issue and intended to write a letter to the state insurance commissioner to complain about Kaiser’s refusal to credential the clinic.
In other business, the board and staff discussed the need for the clinic to have its own EKG machine. “The point is, we are a clinic. We shouldn’t have to shlep over to the fire department every time we need to run an EKG,” said commissioner Kandace Harper.
As planned, Dick Williams resigned as commissioner at the close of the August meeting. Richard Dennis placed his name for Williams’ seat in the special filing period on August 14.