Premera Blue Cross, Kinwell Medical Group open exclusive clinics for members

Premera Blue Cross is partnering with Seattle-based Kinwell Medical Group to open primary care clinics that will exclusively serve members. 

In December, Kinwell Medical Group opened the doors to the first two clinics in Washington — in Yakima and Wenatchee — and anticipates growing that number this year, according to a Jan. 18 news release shared with Becker's

Lee McGrath, Premera Blue Cross executive vice president of healthcare services, said the move is an opportunity to battle the growing primary care physician shortage throughout the country. The U.S. will face an estimated shortage of 124,000 physicians — 48,000 in primary care — by 2034, according to the news release. 

"If we're going to live up to our mission of making healthcare work better, we simply cannot afford to sit on the sidelines and allow this crisis to grow," Ms. McGrath said. "This is why Premera is working to improve the care experience for our members today and investing in educational programs focused on growing the pipeline for future primary care providers."

The move builds on a 2019 agreement between Premera Blue Cross and Vera Whole Health, which created four member-exclusive primary care centers in Spokane, Wash.

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