FREMONT-RIDEOUT HEALTH: Maintains Independence While Fostering Cooperation
Today's Sacramento Bee profiles the Fremont-Rideout Health Group, the independent health system that knows "what it takes for a hospital to go against the tide of mergers and remain profitable." The group, with one hospital in Yuba City and another in Marysville, has rejected bids from larger networks and instead remains viable on its own, in part because its remote, rural location allows it to demand higher reimbursement rates from HMOs than its urban counterparts which "must compete for patients." Board Chair James Leonard said, "We don't see anything that anyone can bring us that we can't do for ourselves." Nonetheless, the Bee reports that Fremont-Rideout is negotiating affiliations with both Sutter Health and University of California-Davis Medical Center to boost patient services while maintaining its independence. The UC-Davis arrangement will create a cancer center at one of Fremont-Rideout's facilities to provide "consultation and chemotherapy." Upon the deal's approval, the two health systems will "split the up-front costs." In addition, the Sutter Health partnership, which "has not been finalized and is the subject of ongoing talks," would develop a cardiac surgery program at Rideout Memorial Hospital in Marysville. Tom Nesbitt, medical director for regional outreach at UC-Davis, explained that a "lot of independent hospitals are finding a relationship (with a larger system) is valuable in that they get a lot of what they would get by selling out to a large hospital chain without selling out independence" (Young, 12/14).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.