UCSF-STANFORD: MERGER BILLS PASS ASSEMBLY, SENATE
Two bills that "would force public oversight" of theThis is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.
recently merged medical centers of the University of California
San Francisco and Stanford University passed the state Assembly
yesterday and now head to the Senate for consideration. A
similar bill recently passed the state Senate and is now under
consideration by the Assembly (SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, 5/22).
Lawmakers, "[w]orried that the merger ... may be a done deal ...
push[ed] quickly on legislation to keep the mega-center subject
to public scrutiny." One bill, sponsored by Assemblywoman Carole
Migden (D) (see AHL 5/7), "would require that UC assets leased to
the new medical center --valued at $300 million to $500 million -
- should be subject to oversight after the transfer." The other
Assembly bill, penned by Assemblyman Kevin Shelly (D) (see AHL
5/13), would mandate that the new entity "comply with open
meeting laws and requirements of the California Public Records
Act." The Senate bill, drafted by state Sen. John Burton (D),
would also require UCSF-Stanford to comply with "open meetings
and public records laws."
LEGISLATED TO DEATH: If approved, "the bills could be a
deal-breaker," SAN FRANCISCO EXAMINER reports. Stanford, which
"unlike UCSF" is private, "has repeatedly said it cannot conduct
business in public, blaming fierce competition in the Bay Area
medical marketplace." Peter Van Etten, president and CEO of UCSF
Stanford Health Care, said, "We can't compete against
Columbia/HCA and the HMOs ... if we openly discuss issues of
program growth or reduction strategies." The merger received
preliminary approval in the fall from University of California
regents, and full approval this spring from Stanford's trustees.
A final decision by UC regents "is expected when the regents"
meet in July, EXAMINER reports (Krieger, 5/22).