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Northern California Planning to Create Large Physician’s Network Named Marin-Sonoma IPA

Posted Apr 11 2011 5:39pm

I have seen this activity in the southern California area too for a couple of years.  image Sometimes though waiting at the end of all the merging is a buyout.  Heritage Healthcare did pretty much that last year with buying up some IPA here.  In addition some get purchased by Health Insurers too. 

OptumHealth (Subsidiary of United Healthcare) Takes Over Memorial IPA in California-Subsidiary Watch

At any rate this seems to be a movement of combining a lot of smaller physician’s groups into larger one and might just be s sign of the times with current healthcare economic conditions.  Interesting too how the article below specifies that the group is to compete with Kaiser methodologies too, so that makes a comment about something is working.  Heritage is the group in southern California looking for the magic algorithms that will predict re-admissions to hospitals with form HHS director promoting as well.  It’s going to take more than that I think.  BD

NORTH BAY — A leading Marin County doctors’ association is heading an effort to create a potentially powerful network of hundreds of North Bay physicians that, if successful, would significantly alter the region’s health care landscape.

The said it will add physicians across Sonoma County to its network as well as those associated with the county’s largest hospital, Santa Rosa Memorial, along with Healdsburg District and Palm Drive hospitals. That’s in addition to existing relationships with Sonoma Valley and Petaluma Valley hospitals as well as its presence at Marin General and Novato Community hospitals.

The network is intended to achieve the kinds of efficiencies of large physician organizations such as those associated with Kaiser Permanente and Sutter Health.

Mr. Doss, who as executive director of the Health Care Authority lobbied for and coordinated other districts’ support, said the Marin-Sonoma IPA expansion and the Regional Action Plan could eventually lead to the formation of an insurance product that would compete with Kaiser. Kaiser Santa Rosa estimates it has nearly half of Sonoma County’s Medicare patients and about 45 percent of the county’s privately insured residents.

“This is a response to the hole that was left by Health Plan of the Redwoods,” Mr. Doss said, referring to a local HMO that went bankrupt in 2002. “Except we are not insurance. We’re not looking at an insurance product, but we may align ourselves with a commercial product.” A third-party insurer would administer and market that product, Mr. Doss said.

An independent practice association is a network of physicians who contract with health maintenance organizations, better known as HMOs. Such a network typically serves as a corporate structure for negotiating and administering contracts with insurers for its member doctors.


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