SANTA BARBARA: Two Medical Clinics Merge
"After nearly three years of negotiations," the Santa Barbara Medical Foundation Clinic and Sansum Medical Clinic have merged into one entity, to be called the Sansum Santa Barbara Medical Foundation Clinic. The merger, signed on Aug. 7 but announced only yesterday, will give members of HealthNet, Blue Cross California Care and Prudential HMOs "a larger choice of physicians," the Santa Barbara News-Press reports. The Foundation Clinic has 82 doctors and Sansum has 45, for a total of 127. The two clinics, which currently serve 225,000 patients, boast "key differences in history and philosophy." The Medical Foundation Clinic's strength is its relations with managed care companies, while Sansum prides itself on a more traditional atmosphere where the doctor-patient relationship is paramount. Lars Bruun-Andersen, chief administrative officer of the Foundation Clinic since 1987, will take over as president of the merged entity, and Sansum CEO Charles Cox will become CEO. The new company will have 880 employees, and "staffing reductions are not anticipated at this time," although some consolidation will eventually take place. All offices and satellite branches are expected to remain open (Ross, 10/2).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.