Expanding Access

Sutter Health and Aetna to Establish New Health Plan in Northern California

Posted on Jun 13, 2017 in Expanding Access, Transformation

Sutter Health, a not-for-profit health care system in Northern California, and Aetna today announced plans to launch a jointly owned health plan. This new collaboration, the first of its kind in Northern California, will bring together Sutter Health’s network of nationally recognized, high-quality doctors and hospitals with Aetna’s leading health plan expertise, cutting-edge data, analytics and health information technology, and shared care management capabilities.

This joint venture will deliver a differentiated, personalized experience for members and is designed to help lower the cost of care, resulting in competitively priced products. Sutter Health and Aetna anticipate offering self-insured commercial products starting mid-2018 in the greater Sacramento, Central Valley and Bay Area communities, as well as fully insured PPO products to follow in early 2019, pending regulatory approval.

This new company will complement Sutter Health’s and Aetna’s current products by providing more choices to Northern California’s commercially and self-insured populations.

By equally sharing ownership and accountability, Sutter Health and Aetna aim to integrate the continuum of care delivery, from wellness to disease management, care coordination, and access. It will also streamline administrative services for members. Read More

New Partnership to Galvanize Workplace Mental Health Efforts

Posted on May 9, 2017 in Expanding Access, Scroll Images, Uncategorized, We're Awesome, Wellness

Sutter Health is partnering with One Mind at Work and the Steinberg Institute to transform employer-based approaches aimed at improving employee well-being, reducing business costs and addressing the social prejudice that affects 1-in-4 people worldwide who have mental health conditions.

Sutter and the Steinberg Institute will provide expertise, resources and leadership to bolster the reach and impact of One Mind at Work—a global coalition of leading employers driving the adoption of workplace best practices in brain fitness and mental health. The organizations are announcing the partnership in May in recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month.

“Through this game-changing partnership, our two organizations will join One Mind at Work and its existing partners to take action, empower employers to more effectively address workplace mental health, and make a difference in a coordinated way,” said Sarah Krevans, president and CEO of Sutter Health. “As a healthcare employer, Sutter Health knows firsthand the hurdles organizations and employees face — from stigma to barriers to service — and we look forward to sharing our ongoing efforts and experiences in creating a healthier workforce.” Read More

New Partnership Expands Healthcare Services to Seniors

Posted on Feb 1, 2017 in Expanding Access

Integrated PACE Services Coming to Stockton and Modesto Areas

WelbeHealth and Sutter Health have announced a partnership to expand Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) offerings to new communities in the Stockton and Modesto areas, giving thousands of medically frail California seniors new access to comprehensive services that can keep them healthy and living independently in their homes and communities, rather than confined to hospitals, nursing homes, and other facilities.

WelBe’s Matt Patterson, Sutter’s Phil Chuang, and WelBe CEO Si France, M.D., at the future Stockton site (from left)

Stockton is the largest city in California without PACE, an innovative and proven national model for holistic care that brings health care, social support, transportation, and insurance under a single care team focused on ensuring the highest quality of life for seniors they serve.

Sutter Health has operated one of the original PACE programs, based in Sacramento, for the past 25 years and, after many months of thoughtful discussion, has engaged WelbeHealth to launch and operate new PACE programs.

“There is an unprecedented level of mission alignment for us as healthcare partners,” according to Sutter Care at Home CEO Marcia Reissig, RN. “We both provide care for the most vulnerable patients, facilitating their ability to remain at home longer while reducing emergency room trips and inpatient stays. This is an ideal partnership for bringing the PACE model of elder care to more underserved communities.”

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California Ballot Measures Address Medi-Cal Underfunding, Enhance Health Care

Posted on Oct 19, 2016 in Expanding Access

Among initiatives on the November ballot are three measures affecting health care and the future of Medi-Cal.

With the passage of the Affordable Care Act, access to care has improved, uninsured rates have declined dramatically and nearly one in three Californians are covered by Medi-Cal. But continued success is threatened.

Government reimbursement for services has not increased. In fact, among all 50 states, California ranks nearly last for reimbursing health care providers for their services. With reimbursement woefully inadequate and a growing number of people insured by Medi-Cal, all Californians are impacted—employers, patients and health care providers.

Along with hospitals, doctors, teachers, community clinics and others, Sutter Health supports a yes vote on three measures that address the underfunding of Medi-Cal and enhance health care in our state.

Proposition 52, the Medi-Cal Funding and Accountability Act of 2016, protects a partnership created in 2009 between the state and California’s hospitals resulting in approximately $18 billion in new federal funds to help pay for hospital care for Medi-Cal patients, with no increase in California taxes. For details see Keep a Good Idea Working.

Proposition 55, California Children’s Education and Health Care Protection Act of 2016, will extend for 12 years the current tax rates on single taxpayers earning more than $250,000 and couples making more than $500,000 a year. It will bring up to $2 billion annually to hospitals and doctors in the form of new Medi-Cal funding. Click on Help Our Children Thrive for more information.

Proposition 56, California Healthcare, Research and Prevention Tobacco Tax Act of 2016, will increase California’s cigarette tax by $2 per pack, with an equivalent increase on products containing nicotine derived from tobacco, including e-cigarettes. The majority of funds generated by Proposition 56 will be used to improve existing health care programs, prevent smoking and fund research into cancer and other tobacco-related diseases. For information go to Since When Has Tobacco Cared About Our Kids?

Nearly $8 Million Awarded to Samuel Merritt University

Posted on Jul 15, 2016 in Expanding Access

Largest amount awarded to a university this year

Aims to diversify the healthcare workforce

An agency with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awarded Sutter Health’s Samuel Merritt University (SMU) $7.8 million in scholarship money for disadvantaged students who will join the University’s mission to diversify healthcare and improve outcomes in underserved communities.

The grant money, distributed by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), is available to SMU students entering or enrolled in the family nurse practitioner, physician assistant, and physical therapy programs. It is the largest amount of scholarship money awarded by HRSA to a single university or college in the U.S. this year.

“The more diverse our healthcare professionals, the healthier our communities,” said SMU President Sharon Diaz. “That begins with diversity on our campuses. We are grateful for HRSA’s recognition of our ongoing effort to make healthcare education accessible to all, and we welcome the students who want to join us in making health outcomes equitable for all.” Read More

Sutter Health Launches New Air-Ground Medical Transport Network

Posted on Jun 30, 2016 in Expanding Access, Scroll Images

Coordinated service transports patients needing specialized care

Transport Photos

Sutter Health’s new fleet of air and ground ambulances unveiled on June 30 at the Oakland Airport.

Today, not-for-profit Sutter Health announced the launch of a new medical transport network serving the critically ill, injured and most fragile patients needing to transfer to higher levels of care in Northern California. The network features a fleet of air ambulances operated by California Shock Trauma Air Rescue (CALSTAR) and a fleet of ground ambulances operated by American Medical Response (AMR).

Sutter Health collaborated with AMR and CALSTAR to establish the new medical transport network, which will help quickly and efficiently transport patients from facility to facility—both within the Sutter Health network and outside of it. Minutes matter during medically delicate situations, and swift transfer to a facility with an appropriate level of care facilitates timely access to medically necessary treatment. Sutter Health’s goal is for CALSTAR and AMR to achieve immediate and seamless dispatch of air and ground ambulances with one call from the patient’s clinical care team. CALSTAR and AMR will strategically locate aircraft and vehicles across a dozen geographic deployment areas to minimize response and transport times.

“Our new transportation network helps us provide vital care quickly and efficiently,” said Stephen Lockhart, M.D., Sutter Health’s chief medical officer. “After initial examinations and tests, clinical care teams may determine some patients need more intensive care. For example, a patient may suffer from a stroke and require specialized treatment at a hospital with neurointensive services.”

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