SANTA CRUZ, Calif.--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--Dignity Health Medical Foundation (DHMF) has signed a definitive agreement with Physicians Medical Group of Santa Cruz (PMG), the largest network of independent primary care and specialist physicians in Santa Cruz County, to purchase their Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) health plan administrative functions. The agreement is estimated to take effect in July 2017.
“Physicians Medical Group of Santa Cruz has been a great health partner and we look forward to further integrating our networks and broadening the services that we offer to offer more affordable choices and further serve the health care needs of the Santa Cruz community.”
As a result, the health plan administrative functions will be provided by Dignity Health Medical Foundation, the independent physicians will affiliate with Dignity Health Medical Foundation, and PMG will change its name to Dignity Health Integrated Network – Santa Cruz (DHIN). The affiliation will help local physicians stay independent in an ever-changing health care landscape.
“As an independent provider, I look forward to working with Dignity Health Medical Foundation and anticipate seeing more affordable health plan options for our patients through this collaboration,” said Michael Coulson, MD, family medicine physician with Scotts Valley Medical Clinic. “Locally, we can anticipate even more coordination between health care providers resulting in increased care quality for our members.”
There is no action for PMG members (patients) to take as a result of this change. Members should continue to see their same primary and specialty care providers and do not need to change health plans. The affiliation’s long-term benefits include more integrated and affordable services for patients, additional support for independent physicians, and increased physician recruitment. Members with HMO plans will start receiving information from DHIN after the agreement takes effect. Patients with non-HMO coverage will not experience any changes.
“We care about the Santa Cruz community and vitality of the local independent and employed physicians,” said Jennifer Schaab, MBA, Chief Operating Officer of Dignity Health Medical Foundation. “In an ever-changing health care landscape it is increasingly challenging to run an independent practice without the support and resources of a larger integrated network. This agreement ensures that the PMG-affiliated providers will continue to remain independent and be able to provide the very high quality of care that the Santa Cruz area has come to expect.”
Officially launched through this affiliation, the Dignity Health Integrated Network (DHIN) is a managed care health plan contracting entity for independent physician associations in California. In Santa Cruz, DHIN will seek to strengthen the existing relationships with employed physicians, independent providers, hospitals, and other health care delivery systems. The DHIN will also seek partnerships with providers, hospitals, and health care delivery systems in other regions.
“We’ve enjoyed a long and successful relationship with Dignity Health and Dignity Health Medical Foundation and we look forward to building on that collaboration,” said Marvin Labrie, CEO of Physicians Medical Group of Santa Cruz. “This agreement will enable us to move forward in the best interest of affiliated providers while allowing us to remain independent. It’s also good news for our patients who will benefit in the long run from more integrated services for the community.”
PMG administrative staff will be offered comparable employment within Dignity Health. PMG and DHMF will also work together to ensure a seamless transition in services, and patient care remains a top priority.
“Delivering high quality, compassionate care to our patients and the community is always a top priority,” said Mike Castillo, VP and Chief Strategy Officer for Physician Integration at Dignity Health. “Physicians Medical Group of Santa Cruz has been a great health partner and we look forward to further integrating our networks and broadening the services that we offer to offer more affordable choices and further serve the health care needs of the Santa Cruz community.”
DHMF supports physician medical groups, independent physician associations and network providers, representing 1,500 employed and independent providers across California. In Santa Cruz, Dignity Health Medical Group - Dominican operates 18 medical offices throughout the county and employs 70 health care providers in 12 specialties.
About Dignity Health Medical Foundation
Dignity Health Medical Foundation, established in 1993, is a not-for-profit organization providing award-winning and patient-centered ambulatory services in a variety of areas including primary and specialty care, diagnostic imaging, vision, occupational health, urgent care, and behavioral health. Dignity Health Medical Foundation supports physician medical groups, Independent Physician Associations (IPAs), and network providers representing 1,500 employed and independent providers across California. For more information on Dignity Health Medical Foundation and the wide range of services it provides, please visit www.dhmf.org.
About Physicians Medical Group of Santa Cruz
Physicians Medical Group of Santa Cruz (PMG) offers the largest network of independent Primary Care Physicians and Specialists in Santa Cruz County and provides quality healthcare services to the communities of Santa Cruz County. PMG is comprised of hundreds of providers, 42 specialties, and 100 locations. PMG has received recognition in the CAPG Standards of Excellence program since 2007 and maintained “Elite” status.