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Dignity Health Medical Foundation (DHMF) has signed a definitive agreement with Physicians Medical Group of Santa Cruz (PMG), the largest network of independent primary care and specialist physicians in Santa Cruz County, to purchase its Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) health plan administrative functions. The agreement is estimated to take effect in July 2017.
As a result, the health plan administrative functions will be provided by Dignity Health Medical Foundation, the independent physicians will affiliate with Dignity Health Medical Foundation, and PMG will change its name to Dignity Health Integrated Network – Santa Cruz (DHIN). The affiliation will help local physicians stay independent in an ever-changing health care landscape.
"As an independent provider, I look forward to working with Dignity Health Medical Foundation and anticipate seeing more affordable health plan options for our patients through this collaboration," said Michael Coulson, MD, family medicine physician with Scotts Valley Medical Clinic. "Locally, we can anticipate even more coordination between health care providers resulting in increased care quality for our members."
There is no action for PMG members (patients) to take as a result of this change. Members should continue to see their same primary and specialty care providers and do not need to change health plans.
The affiliation’s long-term benefits include more integrated and affordable services for patients, additional support for independent physicians, and increased physician recruitment. Members with HMO plans will start receiving information from DHIN after the agreement takes effect. Patients with non-HMO coverage will not experience any changes.
"We care about the Santa Cruz community and vitality of the local independent and employed physicians," said Jennifer Schaab, MBA, chief operating officer of Dignity Health Medical Foundation. "In an ever-changing health care landscape it is increasingly challenging to run an independent practice without the support and resources of a larger integrated network. This agreement ensures that the PMG-affiliated providers will continue to remain independent and be able to provide the very high quality of care that the Santa Cruz area has come to expect."
Dignity Health Medical Foundation, Agreement, Physicians Medical Group of Santa Cruz, US