Provider Perspective

March 27, 2024

Interview with Dr. Albert Chaffin

Medical Director for Legacy Health Partners

Dr. Albert ChaffinAs a provider and health care advocate in this community, what are your concerns about the potential contract termination between Legacy Health and Regence? 
It is very concerning to think about the many negative impacts on our community should Regence allow its contract with Legacy Health to terminate. This will impact public health initiatives and individual patients and their families in ways we cannot fathom. 
What concerns do you have for our patients who are caught in the middle of this situation? 
Many patients will find themselves navigating an already confusing healthcare system that already has access issues to primary care providers. Losing the ability to see Legacy Health primary care providers will put their health at risk. Getting medication refills and ongoing chronic health issues are just two examples of how people are going to fall through the cracks. 
If an agreement is not reached and our contract is terminated, how will this affect Legacy patients who are Regence members? How will it impact you as a provider? 
I am a pediatrician who practiced 13 years in primary care. I now see gender diverse patients at the Randall Children’s Gender Care Clinic. These patients who have Regence insurance will lose access to my care and find themselves with very limited options elsewhere.   
The waitlist to be seen at the only other gender care clinic in the area is well north of six months.  That will get even longer if there is a sudden influx of patients trying to find a new provider. These patients are vulnerable to mental health and social stigmas. Without gender affirming medical treatment, they will be at risk for worsening mental health due to increased gender dysphoria. Not having access to puberty blockers and or gender affirming hormones will be absolutely devastating to them.  
For the adult gender diverse patients with Regence insurance, they will find themselves in an even tighter spot. Those who are seeking gender affirming surgeries have few options already. The waitlist is several years long to get gender surgery at the other hospital in our community. The waitlist to get top surgery at Legacy is between six and nine months and for bottom surgery it is around one year. Those are already long wait times and Regence is going to jeopardize their members’ livelihoods by not being reasonable with contract negotiations. 
If you could tell the head of Regence one thing, what would it be? 
Please think about the patients rather than profits. 

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