UCSF Medical Center and John Muir Health have signed a letter of intent
to develop a company that will serve as the cornerstone of a Bay Area
health care network intended to provide patients with high quality care
and an exceptional experience at an affordable price. A final agreement
is expected by the end of 2014.
Under the proposed agreement both organizations would remain
independent, but a new company would be created that is equally owned
and operated by both organizations. The new company would serve as a
funding vehicle for future joint initiatives and a shared services
organization to support programs and initiatives focused on better
health care, at lower costs, for Bay Area patients.
The first of these joint initiatives is investment in a collaborative
effort with other health care providers to form a regional health care
network, or "accountable care organization" (ACO). Establishing a Bay
Area-wide ACO will provide patients from throughout the Bay Area and
Northern California with a competitively priced option to access, close
to where they live or work, many of the Bay Area's most trusted and
respected hospitals, health systems and physician organizations.
Both John Muir Health and UCSF Medical Center have experience in
successful ACOs that have demonstrated lower health care costs and
improved health care quality. The goal of an ACO is to provide the right
care at the right time and in the most appropriate setting, whether that
is the primary care physician's office, an outpatient center or a
hospital, and savings achieved as part of an ACO can be passed along to
consumers in the form of lower health care benefit premiums.
"By combining John Muir Health and UCSF's strengths, we aim to offer
patients the highest value system of care available," said Mark R.
Laret, CEO of UCSF Medical Center and UCSF Benioff Children's Hospitals.
"We look forward to working not just with each other, but with other
health organizations throughout Northern California, in order to provide
an exceptional health care experienc for patients."
"The jointly owned and operated company brings together two
organizations that share a commitment to providing patients with
high-quality care at an affordable price," said Cal Knight, President
and CEO of John Muir Health. "We looked at a number of affiliation
options that would allow us to grow without compromising our mission,
vision and independence. We found the right fit with UCSF and look
forward to the development, along with other partners, of a regional ACO
that will benefit patients and the communities we serve."
Both organizations are widely recognized for the quality of care they
provide. U.S. News and World Report recently ranked UCSF Medical
Center, John Muir Medical Center, Walnut Creek and John Muir Medical
Center, Concord as the top three hospitals in the San Francisco-Oakland
area for the third straight year. In addition, the John Muir Physician
Network recently received the highest possible "elite" ranking from the
California Association of Physician Groups for the fourth straight year.
The formal affiliation would enable both organizations to build on their
strengths and work together through the new company to develop joint
initiatives. For example, UCSF Medical Center and John Muir Health would
coordinate rollout of their Epic electronic medical record systems and
patient communication portals to enable better physician and patient
communications. UCSF Medical Center and John Muir Health also
anticipate, with other provider partners, building enhanced physician
practice management services to create alternatives for physicians
throughout the Bay Area who wish to affiliate with the new company and
Bay Area ACO's efforts.
"UCSF Medical Center and John Muir Health recognize that health care
delivery changes brought about by health care reform are here to stay,"
said Laret. "Both organizations have a demonstrated track record of
delivering high-quality care at an affordable cost through ACOs. This
experience will be used to provide the value that Bay Area and Northern
California residents, patients, employers and payors are looking for
from trusted health care providers."
About UC San Francisco and UCSF Medical Center
UCSF Medical Center consistently ranks as one of the top 10 hospitals in
the United States. Recognized for innovative treatments, advanced
technology, collaboration among health care professionals and
scientists, and a highly compassionate patient care team, UCSF Medical
Center serves as the academic medical center of UC San Francisco. UCSF's
nationally preeminent programs include children's health, the brain and
nervous system, organ transplantation, women's health, cancer and
behavioral health. The medical center operates as a self-supporting
enterprise within UCSF and generates its own revenues to cover the
operating costs of providing patient care.
UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital San Francisco also is affiliated with
UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland.
About John Muir Health
John Muir Health is a nationally recognized, not-for-profit health care
organization east of San Francisco serving patients in Contra Costa,
eastern Alameda and southern Solano Counties. It includes a network of
950 primary care and specialty physicians, more than 5,500 employees,
medical centers in Concord and Walnut Creek, including Contra Costa's
only trauma center, and a Behavioral Health Center. The health system
also offers a full-range of medical services, including primary care,
outpatient and imaging services, and is widely recognized as a leader in
many specialties - neurosciences, orthopedic, cancer, cardiovascular,
trauma, emergency, pediatrics and high-risk obstetrics care. For more
information, visit www.johnmuirhealth.com.
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