SUTTER HEALTH: Will Sell Omni Healthcare
Sacramento-based Sutter Health is looking for a buyer or partner for its financially troubled Omni Healthcare HMO, Modern Healthcare reports. Omni currently operates in 25 counties in Northern California and has 160,000, but lost $196,000 last year. In addition, its CEO, Robert Edmondson, "resigned late last year to take a job with Aenta U.S. Healthcare." According to Omni officials, the sale is necessary because Omni needs capital "in the face of competition from larger HMOs." Although "Omni's enrollment has increased by nearly a third since 1996," it still remains a minor player in the California marketplace. Edward Schroeder, president and CEO of St. Joseph's Regional Health System, said, "This is an industry that has consolidated dramatically, and comparatively smaller HMOs like Omni are facing serious competitive challenges from larger plans." According to Robert Falhman, the interim CEO and president of Omni, "the closure of a potential buyout or partnership deal will take four to six months" (Shinkman, 4/20 issue).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.