Court Allows PacifiCare to ‘Sever Ties’ with Matrix Physicians Group
PacifiCare Health Systems can continue its plans to transfer its managed care business to Community Medical Centers and its Sante Community Physicians, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Dzintra Janavs ruled on Tuesday, the Fresno Bee reports. Last week, PacifiCare announced it was ending its contract with Saint Agnes Medical Center and its physician group Matrix, citing concerns about the physician group's financial solvency. Matrix had sought a temporary restraining order to prevent PacifiCare from "severing ties" with the group, but the judge denied the request and "barred further requests" from being filed. In court documents, PacifiCare said that Matrix was "unwilling to perform under the financial terms of its contract" and that Saint Agnes also had "failed to follow the terms." PacifiCare members have until April 13 to choose a new doctor or they will be assigned to one. However, state law allows patients to continue seeing Matrix physicians for 30 days. Saint Agnes, which stands to lose about $52 million, said it was "blindsided" by PacifiCare's decision. The medical center, which was not part of the lawsuit seeking the restraining order, is considering legal action (Correa, Fresno Bee, 4/4).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.