Go Back

Contract negotiations with Kaiser Permanente continue

30 Aug 2020

From Cheryl Wolfe, RN, President and CEO

Salem Health’s seven year contract with Kaiser Permanente expires in about a month, at close of business on September 30, 2020. A few members of the medical staff have expressed concern about this contract and I wanted to provide you with an overview of the situation.

First, it’s important to understand that contract negotiations often go down to the wire like this. This negotiation is not out of the ordinary, and Salem Health is committed to reaching an agreement for a new contract with Kaiser. Our teams continue to meet weekly.

Due to COVID, negotiations have been ongoing for the past three months, but prior to that, Kaiser was aware of Salem Health’s expectation for parity amongst its payors. Over the course of the previous seven years, the methodology used in the contract did not keep pace with market and Kaiser now lags other payors significantly.

Most importantly, I want to express my thanks to the Kaiser providers who are a part of our community and the many who are embedded in our hospital. In addition to being our colleagues, you are our friends and neighbors. You are valued members of our health care team and in many cases, have served alongside us in important leadership roles. We want you to know we share your goals of high quality, affordable health care that is close to home.

Salem Health is negotiating in good faith – as it does with more than 40 other payors – and it is absolutely our intention to reach a fair contract in a timely manner. Thank you for your support.