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Regional News/West: Fewer California employers offering healthcare coverage, and other news

By Modern Healthcare
Posted: April 27, 2013 - 12:01 am ET

OAKLAND, Calif.— The percentage of California employers that offer healthcare coverage to their employees has plummeted in the past decade. In 2012, 60% of California employers offered coverage to their employees, down from 71% in 2002, according to a survey by the California HealthCare Foundation. Coverage rates, though, varied significantly by company size. For example, 98% of California employers with at least 1,000 employees offered healthcare coverage last year, as did 97% of firms with 200 to 999 employees. On the other hand, only 49% of employers with between three and nine employees offered coverage, while 71% of firms with 10 to 49 employees provided coverage. During the 10-year period, premiums for healthcare plans offered by California employers rose an average of 169.7%, while the state's inflation rate increased 31.5%, according to the survey. The 2012 results are based on 659 interviews conducted late last year with benefit managers. The 2002 coverage figures came from an earlier Kaiser Family Foundation survey.

—Business Insurance

SAN FRANCISCO—The Individual Practice Association Medical Group of Santa Clara County and its subsidiary Pacific Partners Management Services have agreed to collaborate with UCSF Medical Center and create an integrated healthcare system in the San Francisco area. The parties signed a letter of intent March 22 and could reach a definitive agreement by the end of June, they said in a news release. The independent physician association includes about 800 physicians in more than 60 medical specialties. As part of the new venture, Pacific Partners Management would finalize the efforts of its insurance arm, Pacific Partners Health Plan, to get a license to operate as an HMO from the state's Managed Health Care Department under California's Knox-Keene Health Care Service Plan Act. The HMO license will allow the organization to take on full risk for an insured population and move toward population management and accountable care, the company said in the release. Pacific Partners also would further develop its Pacific Partners Medical Group as a group practice model with employed physicians. “By joining the expertise of an academic medical center with a highly regarded management services organization and an established community of physicians, we are laying the foundation to answer society's call for more integrated models of care,” said Jay Harris, UCSF Medical Center's chief strategy and business development officer.

—Ashok Selvam

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