Sutter Doctors Encourage Vaccination During Measles Outbreak

Posted on Jan 26, 2015 in Wellness

The recent measles outbreak, now reported in 11 states, serves as a reminder about the importance of vaccinations. Physicians within the Sutter Health not-for-profit network encourage vaccination as the best way to prevent measles and its spread.

Measles, a highly infectious, airborne disease, typically begins with fever, cough, runny nose and red eyes, and within a few days a red rash appears. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports most of the current measles cases in California are part of an outbreak linked to Disneyland.

Our Health Maintenance Guidelines outlines recommended screenings and immunizations at all ages. In addition, Jeffrey Silvers, M.D., infectious-disease specialist at Sutter Health’s Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley and Yasuko Fukuda, M.D., pediatrician at Sutter Health’s California Pacific Medical Center spoke about measles with the San Francisco Chronicle and ABC 7 News.

Find more information about the measles on the CDPH website.

Tracy Press Covers Consumer Reports Health Group Ratings

Posted on Jan 26, 2015 in Quality

Earlier this year, Consumer Reports released its second annual patient satisfaction rankings report. More than 170 physician organizations were ranked across the state based on data collected from more than 50,000 patients. The Tracy Press ran a story detailing the rankings for physician groups and hospitals in the Central Valley, including Sutter Gould Medical Foundation and Sutter Tracy Community Hospital.

Consumer Reports also rated additional physician organizations throughout the not-for-profit Sutter Health network. Download the complete list.

Honorary Membership Presented to Dr. Martin Brotman for Leadership in Health Care

Posted on Jan 23, 2015 in We're Awesome

Martin Brotman, M.D., senior vice president of education, research and philanthropy for Sutter Health

Martin Brotman, M.D., senior vice president of education, research and philanthropy for Sutter Health

Martin Brotman, M.D., senior vice president of education, research and philanthropy for the not-for-profit Sutter Health network, has been awarded the California Hospital Association’s (CHA) 2014 Honorary Membership in recognition of his 40-plus years of caring for patients in the San Francisco area.

Brotman began practicing gastroenterology and internal medicine in the mid-1960s. An interest in health care administration led him to Sutter Health-affiliated California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC), where he served as president and CEO from 1995 to 2008. He was the founding president of Sutter’s West Bay Region and oversaw its operations from 2009 to 2011. In 2012, Brotman began his role of leading the network’s education, research and philanthropy programs.

Throughout his administrative career, Brotman continued to care for patients every week, sometimes traveling hundreds of miles to see those who lived outside of the Bay Area.

“Martin Brotman is a distinguished health care leader in California,” CHA President/CEO C. Duane Dauner said. “His visionary leadership across more than four decades has benefited countless patients. CHA is proud to honor his achievements by awarding him Honorary Membership.” Read More

KGO News Features Consumer Reports Health Group Ratings

Posted on Jan 21, 2015 in Quality

This month, Consumer Reports released its second annual patient satisfaction rankings report. More than 170 physician organizations were ranked across the state based on data collected from more than 50,000 patients. San Francisco’s KGO 810 News reports the rankings for physician groups in the Bay Area, including Sutter Pacific Medical Foundation.

Consumer Reports also rated additional physician organizations throughout the not-for-profit Sutter Health network. Download the complete list.

 

Sutter Health Proposal Would Allow Patients to Keep Doctors

Posted on Jan 20, 2015 in Scroll Images, Uncategorized

Blue Shield Has Not Accepted Offer to Extend Current Terms through End of 2015

To prevent tens of thousands of patients from being displaced from their doctors, the not-for-profit Sutter Health network of doctors and hospitals yesterday proposed extending the current transition period with Blue Shield of California through the end of this year, locking in 2014 contract rates and terms. Blue Shield has not accepted the offer. The contract between Blue Shield and Sutter Health expired Dec. 31, and the health insurance company announced it will reassign members to non-Sutter physicians.

“Our proposed longer-term transition agreement would help ensure patients have continued access in 2015 to the doctors Blue Shield promised them during open enrollment,” said Stephen Lockhart, M.D., Ph.D., Sutter Health chief medical officer. “We believe employers and Blue Shield members deserve the network they purchased.”

“Few things are more important than the relationships patients have with their doctors, and our proposal gives patients time to consider alternative health plan options for 2016,” he said. “We are surprised Blue Shield hasn’t accepted a proposal that essentially locks in the status quo through the remainder of this year.”

Blue Shield has not accepted Sutter Health’s offer despite these facts:

  • Blue Shield sold health plan products during the fall open-enrollment period that featured the doctors and hospitals of Sutter Health; and then just days into the New Year abruptly announced plans to reassign tens of thousands of members to non-Sutter doctors.
  • Blue Shield continues to collect rate increases from its members and employers this year of up to 23 percent.

Read how we’re calling upon Blue Shield to honor its promise to members.

For more information about negotiations with Blue Shield, see frequently asked questions in the Sutter Health newsroom.

Patients or employers who have questions about other health plan options that offer Sutter Health may visit sutterhealth.org/healthplans.

Facts about Sutter Health’s Community Commitments

As a not-for-profit organization, Sutter Health does not have shareholders. Any revenue it earns goes right back into community health care services.

Its hospitals care for more Medi-Cal patients in Northern California than anyone else. In 2013, providing care to Medi-Cal patients cost Sutter Health $522 million more than the state paid.

Sutter Health understands its role in helping hold the line on health care costs in the United States, and it has worked to make its services more affordable to patients. Sutter Health reduced costs more than $300 million in the past few years.

See how Sutter Health partners with and financially supports community clinics to ensure that those in need have access to primary and specialty care.

Sutter Health Negotiations with Blue Shield

Posted on Jan 20, 2015 in Uncategorized

We understand the frustration our patients are feeling; we’re the people who care for patients, and we feel it too. Sutter Health made an offer to Blue Shield to extend 2014 contract rates through the end of 2015 to preserve patient access to Sutter Health’s award-winning network—the very same network Blue Shield sold to its members during open enrollment. Read how we’re calling upon Blue Shield to honor its promise to members.

You may have read recent news reports about our negotiations with Blue Shield. To help answer your questions, we provide the following facts on this issue:

Our not-for-profit mission

Sutter Health is proudly not for profit. We don’t have shareholders. We invest any revenue right back into community health care services.

Our hospitals care for more Medi-Cal patients in Northern California than anyone else, a responsibility to which we remain deeply committed. In 2013, providing care to Medi-Cal patients cost Sutter Health $522 million more than the state paid.

Although some insurance companies offer health plans for people with Medi-Cal coverage, Blue Shield doesn’t serve Medi-Cal patients as an insurer.

Sutter Health provided over $900 million to care for patients unable to pay, and to support programs that improve community health in 2013. See how Sutter Health partners with and financially supports community clinics to ensure that those in need have access to primary and specialty care.

Health care costs

We all play a role in holding the line on health care costs in the United States, and Sutter Health has worked hard to make our services more affordable to patients. We’ve reduced our costs more than $300 million in the past few years, and our contract proposal to Blue Shield reflects this.

See how Sutter Health is reducing health care costs—with every dollar earned going right back into community health care services.

Rates we offer health plans

During negotiations Blue Shield told Sutter Health that it found many of our hospitals’ prices to be at or below the average prices for comparable facilities.

Analyses of publicly available data show the prices of Sutter Health hospitals are in line with those of their competitor hospitals.

We have 2015 contracts with all the other major health plans. For the past several years, Sutter Health has held its average annual overall price increases with the large commercial health plans to the low single digits.

The issue of arbitration

It is standard across the health care industry—and in other sectors—to arbitrate disputes. Sutter Health’s most recent contract with Blue Shield called for all disputes to be arbitrated. In fact, Blue Shield itself requires arbitration of all disputes with its own brokers, members and employers.

Negotiating strength

Blue Shield is an $11 billion company, and they—along with three other large insurance companies—control about 90 percent of California’s market and 95 percent of the state’s health care exchange (according to Kaiser Family Foundation). Blue Shield exercised its own significant market power in threatening to move a quarter million members if we don’t agree to its demands.

There are dozens and dozens of non-Sutter hospitals in Northern California and thousands of non-Sutter doctors. The fact that Blue Shield received approval to move tens of thousands of members to other providers reinforces the clear availability of convenient health care alternatives.

Blue Shield sold products featuring Sutter Health during open enrollment

Blue Shield proudly sold health plan products featuring our award-winning doctors and hospitals during open-enrollment and collected rate increases this year of 5 to 23 percent from its customers. Days into the New Year, Blue Shield abruptly reneged, announcing Sutter providers would not be part of its network. Many are asking how long Blue Shield had been planning this action and are questioning the health plan’s motives and conduct during open-enrollment.

We’re calling upon Blue Shield to honor the commitment it made to its members during open enrollment.

State of Sutter: A Look Back at 2014

Posted on Jan 20, 2015 in Community Benefit, Expanding Access, Quality, Research, Transformation

A look back at some of Sutter Health’s key milestones in 2014.

Quality Achievement – Our commitment to quality and service means patients receive the excellent medical care they deserve, leading to better treatment results and a better quality of life. Our network received numerous awards for health care quality in 2014.

  • 15 Top Health Systems Truven logo

 

 

 

 

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