Lifewise Health Plan prepared to serve islanders' needs

Lifewise Health Plan of Washington, which is replacing Kaiser Permanente in the San Juan Islands, will not use auto-adjudication to process air transport claims from islanders. Kaiser Permanente used algorithms to process claims and automatically denied dozens of islanders' air transportation claims.

San Juan County Public Hospital District #1 board and staff listen to Lifewise representatives October 16, 2019. Sharon Kivisto


San Juan EMS facing $350,000 fine from state; discounted from more than $1 million

The state Attorney General's office investigation into medicaid fraud in San Juan Island EMS's billing practices for off-island transport has revealed more than 400 improperly submitted claims. The state is offering to reduce what could be a fine in excess of $1 million to $350,000. The San Juan County Public Hospital District Commissioners will meet in the next two weeks to craft a reply to the state.


Greenbank Birth Center now seeing clients in Friday Harbor

With the closing this year of Island Life Midwifery, the midwives at the Greenbank Birth Center decided, after 25 years of serving San Juan Islands families from their office in Anacortes, it was time to take the boat.

They found a beautiful space at 25 Nichols Street in Friday Harbor and have been seeing clients since September 1, 2019. The Greenbank Birth Center has worked with more than 600 families since they began serving San Juan County in 1993.


The importance of knowing about restrictions placed on your healthcare provider has an article "A Miscarrying Woman Nearly Died After a Catholic Hospital Sent Her Home Three Times" about the restrictions Catholic hospital systems place on patient care. It is important that patients are aware of the fact that they might not be told all of the medical options. PeaceHealth is the hospital refererence in the article. The critical access hospital on San Juan Island is run by PeaceHealth.


EMS/Fire Dept draft contract tabled for at least a week

The fourth draft of the proposed contract handing administration of San Juan Island EMS over to the San Juan Island Fire & Rescue Dept wasn't ready until a few hours before the Public Hospital District #1 meeting. PHD Commissioners Warren Appleton and Anna Lisa Lindstrum both objected to discussing something they hadn't been able to read before the meeting. 

Gene Wilson speaking at the PHD meeting September 25, 2019 Sharon Kivisto photo


Quarantine Zones for Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease in effect in the San Juan Islands - No danger to humans

Washington State Department of Agriculture has issued an emergency rule in an attempt to keep rabbit hemorrhagic fever - a highly contagious and deadly foreign animal disease - from spreading from the San Juan Islands to the mainland. The disease was identified on Orcas, Lopez and San Juan Islands this summer. The emergency rule will be in effect for 120 days.