SACRAMENTO: Marshall Hospital Keeps Alliance With Doctors
Placerville-based Marshall Hospital has struck a deal to retain its managed care alliance doctors. The doctors threatened to leave the Marshall-El Dorado PHO after the hospital board "took a hard line" on collecting $750,000 in debt racked up by physicians that failed to cut their share of costs. The "last-minute compromise" was prompted by a "last-ditch" contract renewal offer from PacifiCare that "neither the doctors nor the hospital could refuse." The PacifiCare offer provides the alliance with more money from the HMO, eliminates any physician risk-sharing and wipes out the $750,000 debt. In exchange, specialists agreed to accept a "fee per member per month for all care -- something they've refused to do in the past." Shannon Terwedo, executive director of the PHO, said, "PacifiCare recognized we are in a strategic location and tried to bend over backwards to strike a deal. It made a big difference to physicians, who very reluctantly agreed." But the agreement remains shaky and could collapse after one year, leaving about 9,000 HMO customers in the area without coverage, the Sacramento Business Journal reports. El Dorado Medical Associates board member Dr. Reginald Rice said, "The present goal is to go for one more year, but any decision after that is purely speculative. It may be better -- there's better reimbursement now -- but the understood conclusion is closure" (Robertson, 12/13).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.