By: Curtis Driscoll email@example.com
POSTED: Wednesday, May 16, 2018 - 12:01 a.m.
UPDATED: A DAY AGO
Adventist Health and St. Joseph Health have announced they will be forming a new joint operating company that will expand health care access in Mendocino, Humboldt, Lake, Sonoma, Napa and Solano counties.
Under the joint operating company, Adventist Health and St. Joseph Health would integrate clinical activities and services, while both would keep their existing hospital names, licenses, capital assets and employees, balance sheets and assets.
"Adventist Health and St. Joseph Health believe this is the right thing to do for the communities we serve," said Jeff Eller, Adventist Health president of the Northern California region. "Patients will benefit from more access points, better health outcomes, and controlled costs by coordinating their care across the spectrum of their health needs."
Eller said the agreement would improve quality and services to smaller communities in the Northern California region, like Willits, by partnering with other hospitals along the Highway 101 corridor.
Rather than having individual hospitals trying to manage alone, the health organizations hope that the strengths of having a more extensive organization gives them access to more sophisticated services regionally and keeps more patients closer to home than having to go to the Bay Area or beyond.
"The real goal and intent in partnering and forming this new operating company are to strengthen and secure our role as a critical component to this region's social safety net," Eller said. "The intent is to provide better value to our patients and to preserve access to better critical health services. It certainly does that when we create the ability to work together for the good of this geography and do more collaborating."
According to Eller, health services in Mendocino County are not expected to change as the hospitals in Ukiah and Willits have been working together for years. However, the new plan is expected to provide further access to services, specialists and physicians in Santa Rosa.
Under the proposed agreement, patients from Willits or Ukiah could see Santa Rosa physicians, and providers would have access to medical records and that would help them improve care and avoid duplicating services, according to Eller.
Currently, some patients who go from Adventist Health to St. Joseph Health have to repeat tests. Their goal is to streamline the healthcare process in an electronic health record and exchange.
Officials at Adventist Health and St. Joseph Health said they are working toward finishing the proposed transaction sometime later this year after a two-year process. The proposed arrangement is subject to regulatory review.
The affiliation applies to facilities, services and clinics associated with Adventist Health Howard Memorial, Adventist Health Ukiah Valley, Adventist Health Clear Lake, Adventist Health St. Helena and Adventist Health Vallejo and Home Health services and facilities.
For Saint Joseph, the services and clinics associated are St. Joseph Hospital Eureka, Redwood Memorial Hospital, Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, Queen of the Valley Hospital and the St. Joseph Home Care Network.
The arrangement does not include the other 15 Adventist Health hospitals in the western United States or the other Providence St. Joseph Health hospitals located throughout the western United States and Texas. the western United States and Texas.