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Healthcare

The expansion of Medicaid in Washington state includes a change allowing licensed naturopathic physicians to function as primary-care providers for patients in the state’s Apple Health (Medicaid) program. In Kitsap County, however, naturopaths are passing on the opportunity to enroll as Medicaid providers. read more »

 

After a year of protracted negotiations and a recent vote by union members authorizing a strike, the Pro Tech workers at Harrison Medical Center got much of what they wanted in a new contract, which was approved by a 98 percent vote of union members. The result was announced June 27 by UFCW Local 21.

The two main sticking points in the often contentious talks were the length of the contract, and Harrison’s insistence on including language to prohibit the Pro Tech workers from honoring a legal strike by another bargaining unit.  read more »

 

By Rodika Tollefson

KPBJ contributor

 Harrison Medical Center has formed a 10-member search committee that will select a replacement for CEO Scott Bosch. Bosch announced at the end of March that he will retire on July 31. read more »

 

By Dr. Carl Ehresman

For some the idea of incorporating healthy bacteria into your diet is a relatively new one. I would say this is partially true. Supplementing with bacteria (probiotics) has become much more common in recent years. More and more of my patients coming in are already taking some form of probiotics when I initially interview them. read more »

 

Dr. Manfred Henne

It is important to be aware of the fact that you can become your own health care advocate, and to choose where and from whom you receive medical services. You have choices! You can select your physician, your medical group, your hospital and the provider of any other medical services such as imaging and physical therapy, etc. read more »

 

By Marie LaMarche read more »

 

Business Examiner

Two significant changes were announced recently for government employees whose health insurance is provided by the state Public Employees Benefits Board program. And both include possible cost increases.

Beginning July 1, persons covered will face a $25 per account surcharge if they or any of their covered family members use tobacco products, including cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco, snuff or other forms. To avoid the financial levy, they can enroll in a PEBB sponsored tobacco cessation program.

There will also be a monthly $50 surcharge if enrolled spouses or domestic partners have chose not to enroll in a medical plan from their own employers that is comparable to a PEBB medical plan. read more »

 

OLYMPIA — The announcement this week by the Obama administration to allow non-compliant or previously cancelled health insurance plans to continue for another two years does not apply to Washington state.

The Obama administration first made the offer to extend non-complaint or cancelled plans for one year last November, but left the decision up to individual state insurance commissioners and the health insurers.

Washington state’s insurance commissioner decided that allowing cancelled health plans to continue would not be in the best interest of the health insurance market and would ultimately harm consumers. Since this announcement last fall, all of the health insurers in the state have confirmed that they support this decision. read more »

 

Union-represented professional and technical employees of Harrison Medical Center hold an informational picket outside the hospital in Bremerton on Feb. 19. Negotiations with Harrison for a new contract for nearly 800 workers began last July but have reached an impasse.There has never been a strike — and possibly never even the threat of one — by any of the union-represented groups of Harrison Medical Center employees, yet a disagreement over language relating to strikes is the primary reason for an impasse in contract negotiations with a group of nearly 800 employees.

Those workers in the “pro-tech” group — medical technicians and employees in a range of other hospital jobs — are represented by United Food and Commercial Workers Local 21. read more »

 
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