UC-STANFORD: MERGER APPROVED BY UC REGENTS; STANFORD NEXT
In a 12-4 vote, the University of California regents gaveThis is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.
final approval to the merger of publicly-run UC San Francisco
hospital and the privately-operated Stanford University hospital.
The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the "deal will become
final with expected approval by Stanford University trustees
[today]." The new private hospital corporation, UCSF-Stanford
Health Care, will assume control of the two hospitals November 1
(Russell, 9/20). "[T]he merger of medicine's version of Gump's
and Saks Fifth Avenue vows to bring the best of big-ticket health
care to Northern California," San Francisco Examiner reports.
The partnership is expected to save millions of dollars "through
integration of management functions at the two hospitals."
Dr. Haile Debas, UCSF chancellor, said the merger will allow
the two centers to share resources, lower costs and "make it
easier for researchers at both schools to join forces in clinical
studies of new drugs emerging from the biotechnology industry."
Debas added, however, that the centers "will still compete as
medical schools for the best students, the best residents and the
best faculty" (San Francisco Chronicle, 9/20). Peter Van Etten,
president and CEO of UCSF-Stanford Health Care Corp., said, "We
plan to become a national center for treating complex illnesses.
Our universities are world leaders in the research and
development of new genetic treatments, new devices in
cardiovascular medicine, new types of surgery." The San
Francisco Examiner notes that "[o]ne of the most immediate and
visible payoffs of the merger is likely to be in the area of
children's health." Prior to the combination, neither school had
the facilities or patient numbers to gain expertise in many
specialized ares of pediatric care. Dr. Larry Shapiro, chairman
of UCSF's Department of Pediatrics, said the partnership "will
reshape specialized medical care for children throughout Northern
Proponents of the merger claim that the partnership will
"give the new corporation more power to bargain with managed-care
firms and would reduce costs." Opponents of the merger contend
the new partnership will result in "job losses and lower quality
of care." Critics also contend that the board of regents does
not have the requisite legal power to approve the merger
(Seligman/Hatfield, San Francisco Examiner, 9/22). Frank Clark
Jr., one of the four regents who voted against the merger,
claimed that the merger violates the state's constitution "by
privatizing a public entity." Clark said, "You can't privatize a
branch of the state government. ... [W]e're a branch of the
government" (Krieger, 9/22). Click here for the latest story
about how California's political leaders are approaching the