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Calif. system seeks to launch health plan


By Beth Kutscher
Posted: November 27, 2012 - 5:15 pm ET
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MemorialCare Health System, Fountain Valley, Calif., is planning to launch its own health plan following the acquisition of certain assets of Universal Care, Long Beach, Calif.

The six-hospital system, which serves Southern California, said in a news release (PDF) that it has filed an application with the state's Department of Managed Care to license its newly formed Seaside Health Plan.

The plan will support Medi-Cal beneficiaries and participate in the California Children's Services demonstration project that focuses on pediatric patients with ongoing medical conditions.

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Financial terms were not disclosed. The deal includes Universal Care staff and certain managed lives. Universal Care will continue to operate its Brand New Day and other specialty plans as a separate, unrelated company.

Barry Arbuckle, MemorialCare's president and CEO, noted in the release that operating the health plan will allow the system to “further our role in population health management, accountable care, medical homes, information technology, best-practice medicine and other elements of health reform.”

He added that the system already provides a continuum of care for patients treated at Miller Children's Hospital Long Beach, who can then be followed at MemorialCare's other hospitals through adulthood. The system's flagship facility is 420-bed Long Beach Memorial Medical Center.

Seaside will also enable the system to form partnerships with other health plans, employers, hospitals and physicians, Arbuckle said in the release.


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