SONOMA COUNTY: Redwood Medical Group to Halt Care
Officials at Redwood Empire Medical Group announced Friday that the group will soon stop providing medical care to Sonoma County residents covered by some of the state's largest insurers, the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat reports. Up to 50,000 Sonoma County residents with group medical insurance from seven health plans -- Aetna, Blue Cross, Blue Shield, HealthNet, OneHealth, PacifiCare and Prudential -- will no longer be treated by REMGI's 350 physicians and specialists. REMGI's financial problems will not affect the 122,000 Sonoma County residents with health insurance provided by Kaiser Permanente, which employs its own doctors, or the 80,000 county residents covered by Health Plan of the Redwoods, which contracts with 10 medical groups other than REMGI. Created three years ago, REMGI's doctors provided health care to Sonoma County residents not covered by Kaiser, HPR or Medicare. Santa Rosa health care consultant Bob Sherrill said, "It ought to concern everyone in the community that there could be 50,000 people out there that have medical care they can't get to. The employers bought it, the doctors are supposed to provide it and the medical group in the middle doesn't have the money to pay for it" (Rose, 6/2).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.