SCRIPPSCARE: New Partnership Links Physicians, Hospitals
In an effort to gain negotiating clout, the Scripps Health Hospital System will join forces with more than a dozen Scripps physician groups under a new organization called ScrippsCare, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. Industry consultants noted that "the marriage of Scripps hospital and doctors is one of necessity, as both sides have seen incomes squeezed by insurance companies." ScrippsCare Executive Director Joseph Sebastianelli agreed, saying, "This is an effort by a provider to level the playing field." Under the physician-hospital partnership, ScrippsCare will consolidate review panels into a single unit and provide physician practices with the "capital for expensive new medical information systems now demanded by insurers," according to Sebastianelli, who is former president of Aetna Inc.. The marriage will also benefit patients, according to Sebastianelli, as the partnership will provide a "broader choice of Scripps doctors" and fewer hassles obtaining treatment. While ScrippsCare's new head expects "nearly all" of Scripps' 1,400 physicians to jump on board ScrippsCare, he said it remains to be seen if some groups, such as "the well-known Scripps Clinic Medical Group," will sign on (Rose, 2/18).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.