Medical Group Agrees To Cancel Exclusivity Contracts
San Francisco on Tuesday reached an agreement with Brown & Toland Medical Group in a case in which San Francisco officials alleged that the physician group tried to require some physicians to enter into exclusivity agreements, the San Francisco Chronicle reports (Knight, San Francisco Chronicle, 10/17).
In the lawsuit, City Attorney Dennis Herrera alleged that Brown & Toland offered physicians affiliated with the Chinese Community Health Care Association agreements that provided financial incentives and administrative services but required the doctors to resign from other networks.
CCHA includes about 160 bilingual physicians who work at Chinese Hospital and other facilities in the city. About 20,000 of the network's 27,000 patients are insured through the Chinese Community Health Plan or the San Francisco Health Plan for Medi-Cal beneficiaries and the uninsured (California Healthline, 4/12).
The plaintiffs said that requiring doctors to resign from other networks, including CCHA, could restrict access to health care services for Chinatown residents whose health plans are not accepted by Brown & Toland.
The settlement makes it possible for physicians to treat patients through both CCHA and Brown & Toland. In addition, Brown & Toland will pay $100,000 to the city under the terms of the agreement (San Francisco Chronicle, 10/17).