BURLEY — Cassia Regional Hospital is once again working with Regence BlueShield of Idaho after a multiyear absence. The pairs contract initially ended in 2016, but as of July 1st, they will partner with one another to help better serve Magic Valley residents.
"We want to fulfill our mission; we want to serve people and help them get better. So, to be able to reach common ground with Regence Blue Shield and for their members to come to the hospital and receive this service and not have that unnecessary burden of having to travel elsewhere, it couldn't be more satisfying than that," stated Ben Smalley, Administrator of Intermountain Cassia Regional Hospital.
The partnership will allow members of the community under Regence's coverage to take full advantage of the many services Cassia Regional Hospital has to offer. The hospital estimates that it may take on nearly 1000 BlueShields members that will have direct access to the facility.
Whether in person or through telehealth, the hospital will work to treat all new members to the best of their ability with whatever they need. Smalley said, "All of our core services, orthopedic surgery, general surgery, obstetrics, gynecology, ear, nose, and throat. All of the sweet of services that we provide, the ER, everything like that is covered."
The renewed partnership could also help clear up some confusion within the local area as well. When Cassia and Regence parted ways in 2016, some residents who had an insurance company with the word "blue" like Blue Cross assumed the hospital no longer supported them. It resulted in many people looking for other means to treat whatever issues they might have.
They hope this partnership will now clear the air of any miscommunication and ensure any insurance company with the shared "blue" is welcome and supported at the hospital.
Although Regence and Cassia cut ties and did not work with each other for multiple years, this new partnership is hoping to last for the long-standing future.
Cassia's return to Regence is also notable because it now means all 43 of the state's access and acute care hospitals participate in Regence's PPO (Preferred Provider Organization) program.