Judge Rules PacifiCare Must Delay Transfer of Fresno County Employees to Community Medical Centers
PacifiCare Health Systems must allow Fresno County employees and retirees to continue receiving services at Saint Agnes Medical Center until May 3, a superior court judge ruled yesterday, the Fresno Bee reports. The county on Thursday filed a breach-of-contract lawsuit against PacifiCare in an attempt to block the managed care company from transferring 2,500 county employees and retirees to Community Medical Centers and its physician group, Sante Community Physicians. The county said that PacifiCare did not give the members 31 days' notice as required before terminating the contract (Trujillo, Fresno Bee, 4/13). On March 29, PacifiCare announced that it was terminating its contract with Saint Agnes and its physician group, Matrix, effective May 1, citing concerns over the group's financial health. PacifiCare planned to transfer 61,000 of its members to Community Medical Centers (California Healthline, 4/12). The ruling yesterday does not apply to the approximately 58,500 non-county employees enrolled in PacifiCare, who must choose another primary care physician by April 23 (Fresno Bee, 4/13).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.