New state contract allows CUP to continue serving Clark County


Columbia United Providers (CUP) Medical Director Lisa MorrisonVancouver-based Columbia United Providers (CUP) and the Community Health Plan of Washington (CHPW) announced the formation of a new relationship that will allow both organizations to continue serving Clark County Medicaid and Basic Health Plan patients as part of a new state contract.

The contract, which goes into effect July 1, was approved by the Washington State Health Care Authority (HCA) – the same governmental body that excluded CUP and CHPW from its list of selected health plans in Clark County for a new Washington Medicaid Healthy Options and Basic Health Plan contract earlier this year.

In a joint press release, CUP and Seattle-based CHPW said four of the five HCA approved plans are large, multi-state for-profit companies based outside of Washington, and that their new partnership brings additional balance between in-state and out-of-state plans. Additionally, the organizations said the partnership ensures that Clark County will have adequate provider networks in place on July 1.

“Our goal from the start was to keep this critical health care safety net intact for this community,” said Ann Wheelock, CUP president and CEO, in a press release. “We greatly appreciate the partnership of CHPW in this effort, and the support of providers and residents of the Clark County community who stood behind us over the last several months. Thousands of our physicians, nurses and residents of the Vancouver community wrote to our legislators and the governor to voice their support for CUP. While this isn’t a direct contract with the HCA, it will allow us to continue being a powerful partner in serving Clark County patients and providers.”

CUP Medical Director Lisa Morrison said keeping the CUP network of care management in place was the right thing to do for the community’s most vulnerable residents.

 “Avoiding disruption to this highly effective provider and care network was our priority,” she said.

Part of the PeaceHealth System, CUP has been providing access to quality healthcare services in Clark County since 1995, primarily for the state programs Healthy Options (Medicaid), State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), and Basic Health. The organization employs 80 people and currently serves more than 47,000 local members. 

Pictured: Columbia United Providers (CUP) Medical Director Lisa Morrison