Business

Most doctors approve of KPS rehab plan

"After two years of monitoring, and after Kitsap Physician Services ran up more than $9 million in debt, state officials were guarded about KPS Health Plans’ community rehabilitation plan from the start.When the plan was kicked off in September, state Insurance Comm-issioner Deborah Senn said she hoped all 315 member physicians would give the plan a green light, but she would settle for 80 percent.Senn also said the plan needed 40,000 consumers to fly.The final numbers far exceeded her baseline.Three hundred of KPS member physicians renewed their contracts on Dec. 1, either through a statement of support or by default (failing to explicitly reject KPS physician contracts is tantamount to approval).“This is a very positive statement by both the Kitsap doctors and the community. The message is clear: they are telling us that they very much want to save KPS Health Plans,” Senn said in a written statement.Of the 15 physicians who gave KPS the boot, two retired, two left town, one closed up shop, three remained as providers (but not members) and two left for another insurance carrier. State officials didn’t say what happened to the other five.KPS Health Plans also saw a trickle of participating providers exit. Forty-eight of the 2,200 participating providers, all Kitsap practitioners, took their business elsewhere. Those providers range from “chiropractors, dentists, massage therapists to certified mental health professionals,” according to the OIC.Approving the contract means agreeing to continue prorating claims – up to 50 percent – in exchange for IOUs to be traded in later for company stock. Physicians who are not members but who accept KPS Health Plans insurance face the same reduced payment option.The money saved will be used to recapitalize the company during its current troubles.Many consumers also agreed to continue with KPS. A total of 52,000 - 12,000 more than needed - KPS customers renewed their contracts for the new year.Before the OIC took KPS Health Plans under its wing, the insurance provider had roughly 72,000 customers. However, 30,000 of those customers got KPS Health Plans insurance through state contracts, which were not renewed when the insurer’s financial status came to light.OIC officials and local business and government leaders developed the rehabilitation plan in late-night meetings only one month after KPS Health Plans was put in receivership.See it on the Web The state Office of the Insurance Commissioner’s rehabilitation plan for KPS Health Plans is now available on the Web at http://www.kpshealthplans.com"

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