BROWN & TOLAND: Bailed Out By UCSF Stanford
In what is being called an "unusual arrangement," UCSF Stanford Health Care Center "ended up picking up about 20% of the bill" when San Francisco-based Brown & Toland "rang up a $4.5 million deficit earlier this year." The San Francisco Chronicle reports at this point "only medical insiders have known about this convoluted arrangement between Brown & Toland ... and the nonprofit UCSF Stanford, which helped create the giant doctors' group," to which many of its doctors belong. Last week several hundred UCSF doctors received an e-mail from CMO Bruce Wintroub saying that "the hospital would pay them thousands of dollars in medical fees that Brown & Toland owed, but was unable to pay." In return, "UCSF Stanford received an undisclosed equity stake in Brown & Towland." Wintroub "defended the arrangement" on the grounds that UCSF doctors don't have an "equity stake in the medical group." He also noted that the payout amount would be less than $1 million, "a relatively small amount compared to UCSF Stanford's budget of more than $1.4 billion." However, Betsy Imholz of Consumer's Union in San Francisco called the arrangement "disturbing." She said, "It's wild that some people get coverage for bad investments and others don't. One wonders where that money comes from, what patient care of other improvements in health services won't get funded" (Abate, 11/19).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.