All Desert Care Network hospitals will soon be out-of-network for Kaiser members. This change comes after an abrupt termination by Kaiser, unexpectedly forcing our two hospitals out of network (replacing with only one hospital). A termination is not a negotiation; rather, a negotiation should be a back and forth in good faith with the best interests of patients at heart. We had no say in this termination by Kaiser, nor did members of the community.
Desert Regional Medical Center (DRMC) will be out-of-network, effective October 1, 2021
JFK Memorial Hospital (JFK) will be out-of-network, effective October 1, 2021
Hi-Desert Medical Center (HDMC) is out-of-network, effective September 1, 2021
We were disappointed and disheartened to receive termination notices from Kaiser for DRMC and JFK after a ten-year relationship. We attempted to engage in good faith in the summer of 2020, but we were met with stonewalling and delays. We received termination notices for JFK and DRMC in 2021. Since our initial outreach, the only negotiation Kaiser has engaged in concerned rates for out-of-network status. As a result, Kaiser members will soon lose in-network access to critical services in our community.
Fortunately, there may be other options for your health insurance plan to keep your relationship with your preferred doctors and hospitals. We are currently in-network with all other major health plans, including Blue Shield of California, Anthem Blue Cross of California, Aetna, United, Cigna, Centene, Humana, Bright (Brand New Day), SCAN and Alignment. Desert Oasis Healthcare (DOHC) and Empire Physicians Medical Group (EPMG) are local groups that manage the aforementioned health plans.
For MA Patients: We encourage you to consult with your broker or caregiver to find out options that may be available to you during the Medicare Advantage Annual Enrollment Period. Open enrollment runs from October 15, 2021 through December 7, 2021. Should you choose to change your insurance carrier, it must occur during this timeframe.
For Commercial Patients:We encourage you to call your employer’s human resources team to discuss the impact of losing in-network access and the negative consequences this could have on you and your family. If your employer offers other health benefit plans, consider switching during open enrollment this fall to maintain in network access.
For individuals with plans through Covered California: We encourage you to consult with your broker or your provider to find out about alternative insurance carrier options that may be available to you during the annual enrollment period. The enrollment period will begin this fall shortly after you receive your renewal letter.
We are currently in-network with all other major health plans, including Blue Shield of California, Anthem Blue Cross of California, Aetna, United, Cigna, Centene, Humana, Bright (Brand New Day), SCAN and Alignment. Desert Oasis Healthcare (DOHC) and Empire Physicians Medical Group (EPMG) are local groups that manage the aforementioned health plans.
You will have in-network access to services at HDMC until September 1, 2021, and you will have in-network access to services at DRMC and JFK until October 1, 2021. Desert Care Network emergency rooms will always care for you regardless of your health plan.
The termination of this contracts impacts in-network care delivered by the hospitals. There are a few exceptions which may apply, including:
ER Services: Emergency care is not impacted. Please continue to go to the closest emergency room, regardless of network status.
Continuity of Care: Certain patients may be eligible to receive Continuity of Care for a period of time if you need ongoing treatment or already have a procedure scheduled. Please call the phone number listed on the back of your Kaiser insurance card to see if you are eligible. If so, we can work with you to see if an in-network authorization should be obtained.
Out of Network Benefits: You may still access our healthcare providers and hospitals for health care services using your out-of-network benefits. Please call the number on the back of your Kaiser insurance card to better understand out-of-network benefits.