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Category: Health Care


Metropolitan Development Council receives $200,000 grant from Bank of America for electronic record conversion

Bank of America Charitable Foundation announced Wednesday that it has awarded a $200,000 unrestricted grant to Tacoma’s Metropolitan Development Council.

The grant, according to a foundation release, is given to “high-performing nonprofits that have made a significant impact in the community.”

The funds will be used to assist MDC as it undergoes “a healthcare transformation, which includes the implementation of electronic health records to enhance the efficiency and quality of care for clients with chronic medical conditions.”

The grant will support health services for some 37,000 Pierce County residents who are expected to be part of Washington’s Medicaid expansion, and

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Port terminal open again after Tuesday shutdown

Trucks were rolling into the Port of Tacoma’s Washington United Terminal Wednesday after a nearly day-long shutdown Tuesday.

That terminal closure was prompted by picketing retired longshore union workers upset over problems with payment of their medical benefits.  Active longshore members refused to cross the retirees’ picket line, shutting down operations at the terminal on Port of Tacoma Road.

Those pickets were removed Tuesday afternoon after an arbitrator ruled that the pickets were not allowed under the contract between the Pacific Maritime Association and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union.  The PMA represents waterfront employers all along the West Coast

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Planned Parenthood in Tacoma moves to new Hilltop office

Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest has moved its Tacoma health center to a new location at 1515 Martin Luther King Jr. Way. The center opened last week, six blocks east of its previous location, the agency said in a release Tuesday..

“The new health center will continue to offer a full range of high-quality reproductive health care, including affordable access to birth control, well-woman visits, breast and cervical cancer screening, emergency contraception, sexually transmitted infection testing and treatment, abortion services and comprehensive sexual health education and information,” the release stated.

The Tacoma health center will be open Monday through

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Drug trials company closing Tacoma site, laying off up to 43

The Tacoma branch of a Florida-based clinical drug trials company is closing.

Comprehensive Clinical Development has issued a layoff warning notice to 43 employees.

Company officials said no ongoing drug trials will be halted, but the Tacoma office will be shut down once those trials are complete.

Comprensive Clinical Development earlier this month filed for bankruptcy reorganization in federal court in Florida.

The company said in a news release it plans to reorganize and continue some of its operations while it trims and rationalizes company operations.

The Tacoma site conducted early phase clinical trials.  The company’s Tacoma operation was located

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Consumer group estimates nearly 600,000 Washington residents eligible for Affordable Care Act tax credits

Nearly 600,000 Washington residents will be eligible for premium tax credits to help defray the cost of medical care when the the Affordable Care Act goes into effect early next year.

In a report released Wednesday, the consumer group Families USA said 597,620 Washingtonians will be eligible for the tax credits.

Eligibility will be based on family income. The amount of coverage the credits will buy depends on the health plan an individual of family chooses. A range of plans – at four coverage levels – will be offered within an insurance marketplace, or “exchange.”

The amount of the credits

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Tacoma’s Franciscan adds Burien’s Highline Medical Center to its hospital network

Burien’s Highline Medical Center has become the sixth hospital in Tacoma-based Franciscan Health System’s medical care network in the South Sound.

Highline joins St. Joseph Medical Center in Tacoma, St. Clare Hospital in Lakewood, St. Anthony Hospital in Gig Harbor, St. Elizabeth Hospital in Enumclaw and St. Francis Hospital in Federal Way in Franciscan’s medical care community.

Bremerton’s Harrison Hospital is also considering affiliation with Franciscan.

The Highline –Franciscan affiliation was announced in June last year and became final April 1 after completion of reviews by state and federal regulatory agencies.

“This is an exciting and historic day for Franciscan,

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Regence, Franciscan sign new agreement ending threat of health care crisis in South Sound

One of the state’s biggest medical insurance providers and one of its largest health care systems have signed a new agreement, ending the threat of a health care crisis for some 53,000 South Sound families.

Regence Blue Shield and Franciscan Health System of Tacoma have completed a new agreement specifying what Regence will pay for health care from Franciscan hospitals and clinics.

Had the two not reached an agreement by April 30, Franciscan facilities would have become non-preferred providers under Regence health plans.   Depending on their employers’ health care plans, Regence-covered patients would have received as little as no

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Franciscan says rate increase request was in “low single digits”

Private companies don’t like to discuss the specifics of their negotiations with their customers, but Tacoma’s Franciscan Health System was moved to provide more details of their rate increase request to Regence Blue Shield after they saw a figure from city sources in Wednesday’s News Tribune.

That story about how the city had warned its employees that they might lose their medical coverage at Franciscan hospitals if the health system and Regence couldn’t agree on a reimbursement increase said those rate increase requests were as high as 30 percent.

Now a Franciscan spokeswoman says the health system’s request was far

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