Where Seattle is a hotbed for innovative healthcare activity, coordinated care and innovative reimbursement strategies have been slow to take hold in Spokane. There are signs that things are changing, though. Foremost, the market has been injected with increased resources from mergers that have brought powerful partners to the two leading health systems: Providence St. Joseph Health and MultiCare. Kaiser Permanente Washington purchased local insurer Group Health Cooperative. KP has already rebranded and folded a large physician group, Columbia Medical Associates, under its umbrella and is likely to acquire other assets in 2020. Providers may be more inclined to gravitate to accountable care, particularly with the presence of MultiCare’s Connected Care clinically integrated network. New laws have addressed telemedicine reimbursement, which is vital for rural Spokane. Legislation has given the state funding control over insurance coverage for school employees.

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