Premera Invests $10 Million in Nonprofit Kidney Care Providers

Mountlake Terrace, Washington, UNITED STATES

Mountlake Terrace, Wash., Oct. 01, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Premera Blue Cross, a leading health plan in the Pacific Northwest, today announced a $10 million investment to nonprofits Northwest Kidney Centers and Puget Sound Kidney Centers, to support their preventive programs and kidney health maintenance education programs across Western Washington.

Premera recognizes the significant health care need and cost associated with chronic kidney disease, exacerbated by the current COVID-19 pandemic. To that end, Premera is partnering with these two nonprofit kidney centers to provide additional support and education on kidney disease.

“Premera is in a unique position in Washington state with nonprofit dialysis alternatives to the large, for-profit entities that tend to dominate at a very high cost. We have an opportunity to support these kidney care providers in educating their patients on managing kidney health,” said Dr. John Espinola, executive vice president of health care services for Premera. “During this current pandemic, it could not be more important for us to support our provider partners in serving our customers and creating a better and more affordable overall experience.”

The grants of $5 million to each provider over a three-year period will:

  • Support and expand the centers’ current chronic kidney disease (CKD) programs with a focus on preventive measures that can slow the progression of CKD for both early and late stage CKD patients, as well as prepare the patients for what to expect should the disease continue to progress.
  • Provide additional support for the centers’ home dialysis efforts that include education, up-front training and equipment costs for increased adoption of home dialysis services.

“The mission of Northwest Kidney Centers is to promote the optimal health and quality of life for people with kidney disease,” said Rebecca Fox, President and CEO, Northwest Kidney Centers. “This generous grant will enable us to expand the resources and education available to our community members when it comes to managing and treating their kidney health. This partnership with Premera represents an exciting new level of how we can work together to give our patients the best resources available.”  

“We often see patients when they are at their most vulnerable, and we want, as much as possible, to treat them in locations convenient for them,” said Harold Kelly, President and CEO, Puget Sound Kidney Centers. “This gift reflects our ongoing desire to provide high quality care whether in-home or in-center for our patients, as well as to help the broader community manage their kidney health, all in an effort to enhance their quality of life.”

This Premera investment is part of a larger commitment to improve the cost and quality of health care for our customers.

About Premera Blue Cross
Premera Blue Cross is a leading health plan in the Pacific Northwest, providing comprehensive health benefits and tailored services to about 2 million people, from individuals to Fortune 100 companies.

About Puget Sound Kidney Centers
Puget Sound Kidney Centers is a leading provider of comprehensive, high quality direct patient care and support services for people living with kidney disease. Since 1981, this patient-centered, community-based nonprofit has been committed to ensuring that the patients and their families receive high-quality, low cost, compassionate care. PSKC currently provides care for patients at seven dialysis centers in Snohomish, Island, Skagit and Pierce Counties.

About Northwest Kidney Centers
Northwest Kidney Centers is a not-for-profit, locally managed provider of kidney dialysis, public health education and research into the causes and treatments of chronic kidney disease. Founded in Seattle in 1962, it was the world's first dialysis organization. The dialysis provider has 20 clinics in the Puget Sound region and provides nearly 80% of dialysis care in its service area. It is an influential model in the industry because of its high-quality services, deep community connections and generous donor support.


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