Mountlake Terrace, Wash. -- MultiCare and Premera Blue Cross today announced an unprecedented alliance between Washington’s leading health plan and the South Sound’s most comprehensive integrated health system that promises a better customer experience while ensuring patients receive the care they need at a lower cost. The first-of-its kind alliance of the two locally based companies in the Pacific Northwest leverages Premera’s more than 80 years of experience providing health insurance coverage in Washington state with MultiCare’s integrated health system of hospitals, clinics and urgent care centers to help patients take control of their basic health needs, while better managing their costs. “We are excited to explore a customer-focused alliance with an independent health system that shares our mission of making healthcare work better. Our goal is to utilize our combined expertise and experience serving local consumers to build an innovative care model that makes accessing the best quality care at the best price simple and easy for the patient,” said Dr. John Espinola, Executive Vice President of Healthcare Services for Premera. Premera will roll the benefits of this collaboration into a new product called Peak Care, which it will make available in 2019 to customers who purchase their insurance through their employer. With Peak Care, consumers will pay less, with easier access to local primary and specialty care providers and the latest digital tools for navigating their health care needs online. “MultiCare is always looking for new and innovative ways to help patients get the care they need and we are pleased to find a like-minded ally in Premera,” said Bill Robertson, President and CEO of MultiCare. “Together, we will develop new ways to provide care while delivering better outcomes at a lower cost. We’re excited about the new opportunities this collaboration will create.” Unlike more traditional care arrangements, Peak Care allows patients to see a specialist without first getting a referral, which saves time and lowers out-of-pocket costs. Patients will have access to the entire network of more than 3,500 providers and practices across the state that are members of MultiCare Connected Care’s Clinically Integrated Network. Among the integrated services MultiCare and Premera are planning to offer patients: Easy-to-navigate digital services for finding the best care and making the right decisions based on patient needs, including appointment scheduling, customer reviews of doctors and clinics and seamless integration with Lyft and Uber’s transportation applications. Concierge services to help patients navigate complex or chronic care. Virtual care that integrates with MultiCare doctors and the health system’s medical records, including remote monitoring with video visits and house calls by board-certified physicians for severe, ongoing patient needs. Full-spectrum maternity care that provides virtual care for low-risk pregnancies during the first two trimesters, personal health navigators for high-risk pregnancies and three neo-natal intensive care units if necessary. Once your baby arrives, lactation support is a click away via virtual support. Sixteen Indigo Urgent Care facilities that offer money-back guarantees if you are unsatisfied with your service. The two not-for-profit organizations over the next two years expect to announce additional tools and services designed to improve the overall patient experience, while lowering costs. Premera will offer Peak Care to Pierce County-based employers beginning this fall, with plans for wider distribution in 2020. Peak Care is currently only available to customers who purchase their insurance through their employer. The health plan estimates that Peak Care could save employers as much as 15 percent off the cost of a traditional preferred provider organization or PPO plan. About Premera Blue Cross Premera Blue Cross, a not-for-profit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association based in Mountlake Terrace, Wash., is a leading health plan in the Pacific Northwest, providing comprehensive health benefits and tailored services to approximately 2 million people, from individuals to Fortune 100 companies. About MultiCare MultiCare is a not-for-profit health care organization with more than 16,000 employees and a comprehensive system of health including numerous primary care, urgent care and specialty services — including Immediate Clinic, MultiCare Indigo Urgent Care and Pulse Heart Institute — MultiCare Medical Associates, MultiCare Rockwood Clinic, Navos Mental Health Solutions, affiliated physicians and a wide range of community outreach programs. Eight hospitals complete our organization: Allenmore Hospital, Auburn Medical Center, Covington Medical Center, Good Samaritan Hospital, Deaconess Hospital, Valley Hospital, Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital — the region’s only children’s hospital and state-designated Level II Pediatric Trauma Center for Western Washington — and Tacoma General Hospital, which is home to the region’s only Level IV Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.