Sutter’s Attempts to Expand Along Highway 50 Corridor Fail
Sutter Health's efforts to affiliate with hospitals in Placerville and Carson City, Nev., have "fizzled," the Sacramento Business Journal reports. Last month, Sutter executives approached officials at Marshall Hospital in Placerville, but the hospital stuck to a decision to remain independent. Marshall administrator Frank Nachtman said, "The economic conditions in health care three to five years ago were so poor, if we were going to question that commitment, we would have done it then." As for the Carson-Tahoe Hospital, Sutter was one of three health care companies to bid on a possible merger. However, Carson City officials decided to switch to a not-for-profit organization "that could lease the assets of the hospital from the city in exchange for ongoing charity care." Sutter's efforts to merge "came as part of a desire to have a presence along Highway 50," the Business Journal reports. Sutter spokesperson Bill Gleeson said, "We do have an interest in the Highway 50 corridor," adding that Sutter "is looking for partners that offer a good fit with hospitals already in its network." Gleeson said that the system wants to grow "slowly [and] methodically" without "impos[ing] itself on a community." Since 1996, Sutter has added six hospitals to its system. Sacramento health care consultant Albert Lowey-Ball said, "Sutter wants to strengthen its oligopoly hold on Northern California with so-called fill-in deals and overflow. It's a sound, logical, reasonable thing to do" (Robertson, Sacramento Business Journal, 3/26).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.