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Kaiser informed Island Hospital last month that its primary care physicians would no longer be in network for patients who had purchased an individual Medicare Advantage plan. Kaiser changed its mind, said Island Hospital spokesman Dennis Richards. (File photo)

After an outpouring of concern, Kaiser Permanente this week reversed a decision that would have left more than 1,000 Anacortes-area patients without a hometown primary care physician.

Kaiser informed Island Hospital last month that its primary care physicians would no longer be in network for patients who had purchased an individual Medicare Advantage plan.

Kaiser changed its mind, said Island Hospital spokesman Dennis Richards.

The primary care doctors at Island Hospital will remain in-network for the Kaiser Permanente plans, he said.

“We believe that Kaiser reversed their decision based on patients expressing their concern regarding this change and the realization of the importance our providers have to their network,” said Island Hospital’s interim CEO Elise Cutter, who also serves as the hospital’s CFO, in a press release. “This is testimony to the outstanding care our providers deliver to their patients each and every day.”

Dr. Robert Prins, the hospital’s chief medical officer, also voiced his support of the reversal in the release.

“All patients should have choices and options to obtain what they feel is the best quality care,” he said.

Medicare’s open enrollment continues until Dec. 7.

The hospital has volunteer advisors in place to help people find a plan that is right for them.

Medicare Open Enrollment Classes are at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 13, at the Senior Activity Center and 10 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 19, at the hospital.

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