Primary health care options for Business Health Trust members continue to multiply across Washington state through a valuable partnership between Premera Blue Cross and Kinwell Medical Group.
Since announcing the collaboration to improve access to primary care in Washington, Kinwell Medical Group has opened five new primary care clinics throughout the state accessible exclusively to people who have Premera Blue Cross, Premera Blue Cross Medicare plans or LifeWise Health Plan of Washington as their primary insurance, as well as BlueCard holders.
This partnership is a key part of Premera’s strategy to address the growing primary care crisis. By 2034, the U.S. is projected to face a shortage of up to 124,000 physicians, 48,000 of which will be in primary care alone, according to a 2021 study by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).
While the study focuses primarily on future physician shortages, Americans are feeling the shortfall now. According to research conducted for AAMC, 35 percent of respondents said they had trouble finding a doctor in the past two or three years. That’s 10 points higher than when the question was asked in 2015.
“If we’re going to live up to our mission of making healthcare work better, we simply cannot afford to sit on the sidelines and allow this crisis to grow,” said Lee McGrath, executive vice president of health care services for Premera. “This is why Premera is working to improve the care experience for our members today and investing in educational programs focused on growing the pipeline for future primary care providers.”
Kinwell Medical Group’s primary care clinic locations now open are in Lynnwood, Pasco, Renton, Wenatchee and Yakima. Additional clinics will continue to open this year. Designed as integrated care centers, Kinwell Medical Group’s clinics provide onsite access to a variety of services.
“At Kinwell, we believe that, along with medical expertise, developing a true connection always makes a difference,” said Dr. Mia Wise, president of Kinwell Medical Group. “We want to provide personalized, wholehearted care by removing obstacles for patients looking to improve their health and create a real relationship with their care team. We look forward to expanding our offering into communities all over Washington state in the coming years.”
The collaboration with Kinwell Medical Group expands the concept first undertaken in Spokane. In 2019, Premera joined forces with Vera Whole Health to open Vivacity Care Centers, which are primary care centers exclusive to its members. Today, there are four Vivacity Care Centers in Spokane County that offer Premera members more access to primary care, an improved approach to their healthcare, and a better customer experience.
To learn more, read the full news release Premera Blue Cross, Kinwell Medical Group Team Up to Expand Primary Care Access Across Washington State.
To learn more about the Premera plans available through Business Health Trust, visit our Health Insurance page.