In most accountable care and medical home models, primary care becomes the gateway for ambulatory, acute and post-acute-care utilization. The groups pledged to build an integrated network for Orange County residents and will blend both organizations' electronic health-record systems. MemorialCare President and CEO Barry Arbuckle touted the affiliation's unique position within the Southern California market, offering a breadth of services and facilities. The formation of the primary-care network will be the affiliated group's first priority, he said.
“This affiliation demonstrates a steadfast commitment to integrated delivery of patient care, which is essential to providing excellent quality care while reducing costs to consumers, businesses and insurers,” Arbuckle said in a news release. “All communities we serve will benefit from the affiliation of our not-for-profit, mission-driven systems, both with excellent reputations and strong financial performance.”
Last month, the foundation announced that its chief medical officer, Dr. Mark Schafer, will become CEO Jan. 1, replacing current CEO Patrick Kapsner.
MemorialCare is a five-hospital system based in Fountain Valley, Calif. The system includes Community Hospital Long Beach, Long Beach Memorial Medical Center and Miller Children's Hospital—all in Long Beach—as well as Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center in Fountain Valley and Saddleback Memorial Medical Center in Laguna Hills. The system also operates more than 200 clinics in Los Angeles and Orange counties with 12,000 employees and 3,000 physicians.
UC Irvine, a major academic medical center, operates a 363-bed facility in Orange that is part of UC Health, the seven-hospital system operated by the University of California. UC Irvine's primary-care physicians will be included as providers in MemorialCare health plan contracts.
The partnership expands on past collaborations between MemorialCare and UC Irvine, a relationship that started in 1975. Officials estimated that about 20% of UC Irvine's 600 residents and fellows are based at MemorialCare hospitals.
“Together, we will fulfill our joint mission of providing exceptional, personalized care that is driven by research with the latest and most advanced technologies and techniques available that promote better health and healing,” Belmont said in the release. “This is driven by a shared passion for innovation, grounded in the most advanced medical and scientific knowledge.”
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