Business

Court says KPS' health is improving

"The state team that is now running Kitsap Physician Services delivered its first interim report to the Thurston County Superior Court on Friday. The presentation went smoothly, and the team plans to report back to the court in March, Office of the Insurance Commissioner spokesman Jim Stevenson said.The locally-owned health insurance provider was put into state financial control, or receivership, on Aug. 2. Projections at the time had the insurer $9.1 million in debt by the end of the year. Since then, Insurance Commissioner Deborah Senn has accepted a community-based effort to reconstruct KPS without selling it.Here are some highlights from the report:• The receivership team reported some health care providers avoided payment or discouraged accepting KPS plans: “Several complaints and informational reports were made ... that some providers were refusing, attempting to refuse and/or reduce services to KPS subscribers, and that some providers or medical groups were discouraging or interfering with the performance of contractual obligations by participating providers.”In response, the team set up a program to let providers know they are required, by state law, to continue honoring KPS insurance even through delinquency proceedings.• The receivership team intends to sell NorthwestOne, a “Washington limited liability company ... (that) operates a provider network and contracts with providers and health care plans.” The company, which is 100 percent owned by KPS, is based out of Everett.According to the report, the receivership team intends on selling the company regardless of the status of KPS.• An early-October proposal to sell the KPS office buildings to the city of Bremerton is still in the cards. More discussion is pending.• The receivership team intends on continued operation of KPS and working with the community group to rehabilitate it. According to the report, “the fourth quarter retention for group business was positive with several large employers electing to remain with KPS.”"

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