June 13, 2011 in City

Group Health closing CdA clinic

By The Spokesman-Review

Group Health Cooperative is closing its Coeur d’Alene Medical Center after failing to sustain adequate numbers of patients.

In a letter to patients, the Seattle-based organization that has earned national accolades as a model for reform said, “organization efforts to grow our enrollment have not been successful, and we have determined that the Coeur d’Alene Medical Center is not on a sustainable path.”

Group Health’s business model has focused on enrolling larger employers in Coeur d’Alene.

Though its medical center there is closing, Group Health will continue to offer health insurance plan coverage in Kootenai and Latah counties though Group Health Options, Inc.

The closure will not affect care for patients who have Group Health insurance but see an independent doctor.

They will, however, need to find services such as pharmacy, vision, lab work, and radiology at another provider.

The medical center employs 30 medical professionals and serves 3,200 patients, including 1,700 who are Group Health members and 1,500 patients with other insurance, according to a news release.

“Recognizing the special relationship between our staff, our patients and the Coeur d’Alene community — we know this news is especially difficult,” said Dr. Tom Schaaf, Group Health’s regional medical director. “We will do our best to honor those relationships while we set our course in a new direction.”

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