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Category: Health Care


Pierce County hosting free, two-hour seminar Aug. 5 on Affordable Care Act Exchange

Rather than being bewildered and befuddled about the Affordable Care Act – which will soon be implemented – here’s a chance to get some perspective.

The state has chosen to establish a Health Benefit Exchange, which is a marketplace where individuals and businesses with fewer than 50 employees can shop for insurance plans.

So what does this mean for you? Pierce County is hosting a meeting early next month where guests can “learn about significant changes to health care delivery and what they mean for your business and your employees. Even if you have more than 50 employees, this seminar

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Tacoma-based medical care provider settles overbilling lawsuit for $14.5 million

A Tacoma company that provides doctors to some 70 hospitals in 22 states has agreed to pay $14.5 million to settle an overbilling lawsuit.

Sound Physicians agreed to pay $14.5 million to end a  suit originally brought by former Sound employee Craig Thomas under the federal False Claims Act, the United States Department of Justice said Wednesday.  That act provides that whistle-blowers such as Thomas will share in any recovery. Thomas, former Sound Physicians’ Southwest regional manager, will receive $2.7 million of the $14.5 million settlement amount.

The suit claimed that physicians employed by Sound submitted claims to Medicare and

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Grocery workers to post informational pickets Wednesday

Attempts to reach a new labor agreement for some 30,000 grocery workers in the Puget Sound area are reaching a confrontational stage.

Workers represented by the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 21, will post informational pickets outside 12 stores Wednesday to draw attention to what they say are attempts by local grocery chains to cut back their pay and benefits.

Those informational pickets will march in front of the stores between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. One Tacoma store, the Fred Meyer at 6901 South 19th Street, has been targeted among the dozen Puget Sound stores.

The union claims

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Tacoma’s Franciscan Health System expands its reach to Bonney Lake with new medical pavilion

Tacoma’s Franciscan Medical System has expanded its reach in Eastern Pierce County with the opening of a new, three-story, 45,000-square-foot medical pavilion in Bonney Lake.

The new building’s occupants will provide family medicine, internal medicine, digital x-ray, urgent care, pharmacy and labratory services on site.

“We are pleased to be able to bring Franciscan’s mission of healing to residents of Bonney Lake, Sumner and Eastern Pierce County, “said Franciscan Medical Group President and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Stephen Spare  “The pavilion is the result of Franciscan’s mission to create healthier communities by offering high quality care in a calming environment

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Tacoma’s St. Joseph Medical Center opens center for premature babies that rival MultiCare Health System opposed

Tacoma’s Franciscan Health System Tuesday opened a new unit to provide specialized care for premature infants or those with early life health problems at Tacoma’s St. Joseph Medical  Center.

The new unit will complement an existing 18-bed special care nursery for infants with less severe maladies.  The new unit can handle infants born as early as 28 weeks from conception and weighing as little as two pounds.

Franciscan is teaming up with Seattle Children’s Neonatology to provide that care in the new 12th floor unit for critically ill newborns and fragile preemies with special medical needs.

That five-bed St. Joseph

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DaVita subsidiary, Paladina Health, opens second Washington clinic in Federal Way

Paladina Health, the DaVita subsidiary that opened its first primary care clinic in downtown Tacoma, opened its second location in Washington on Tuesday.

Located at 32275 32nd Ave. S. in Federal Way, near DaVita’s newest business offices, the clinic is also the 35th in a nationwide network of “employer-sponsored medical homes” — in other words, a way for businesses to provide healthcare coverage for employees without using an insurance company.

Paladina Health is a subsidiary of $9 billion health care services company DaVita HealthCare Partners, which is based in Denver. DaVita is a national leader in kidney care and dialysis,

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KWA hiring 100 home care workers Wednesday

KWA, formerly the Korean Womens Association,  is hiring 100 home care workers at a work fair scheduled for Wednesday at Work Force Central, 3650 S. Cedar Street in Tacoma.

KWA supervisors will be on site to make immediate hiring decisions.  The hiring fair is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The social services organization will provide training for the workers.  Wages range from $10.17 to $10.88 an hour depending on the worker’s experience.

KWA is partnering with Home Depot, Work Source, Work Force Central and American Medical Rental & Supply to present the hiring fair.

“This is an awesome opportunity to

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Tacoma’s MultiCare Health System, Grays Harbor Community Hospital to form alliance

The regional trend of smaller hospitals forming alliances with large health systems continued Friday as Grays Harbor Community Hospital announced it has signed a letter of intent to affiliate with Tacoma’s MultiCare Health System.

The two health care organizations said they’re forming the alliance to “share clinical best practices and expand services in  Grays Harbor County and the surrounding region.”

“We are excited to build on our longstanding relationship with Grays Harbor Community Hospital to help improve access to care service for area residents,” said Diane Cecchettini, chief executive officer at MultiCare. “Our two systems have collaborated for years, particularly

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