Tri-City Healthcare District and UC San Diego Health have finalized an affiliation agreement under which the university-based system will introduce new physicians and medical services to North County, while the hospital organization and its physicians gain access to additional insured patients.
The agreement, approved by Tri-City’s board Aug. 16 after eight months of talks, envisions shared recruitment of primary and specialty-care physicians to the healthcare district’s 397-bed, acute-care hospital in Oceanside, according to a news release issued Tuesday.
The idea is to develop and market health care services new to the healthcare district, while also enhancing Tri-City’s existing neurosurgical and cardiac care offerings and integrating some of the two organizations’ clinical operations.
As part of that integration, some Tri-City physicians are expected to gain access to UCSD Health’s contracts with health plans across the state, which Tri-City Chief Strategy Officer Wayne Knight said would likely entail strong reimbursement rates.
“It’s a halo effect for Tri-City,” he said of the physicians’ access to contracts negotiated between UCSD Health and various health plans. “What’s good for our primary-care and specialty-care physicians is something that Tri-City strives for, even if it has no direct financial impact” on the healthcare district’s finances.
Tri-City benefits more directly from the affiliation by becoming a contracted provider under health plans serving perhaps 20,000 or more employees and dependents of UC San Diego. Those insurance plans, which Tri-City started contracting with June 1, are UC HealthNet Blue & Gold HMO and Blue Shield/UC Care PPO product.
UCSD Health CEO Patty Maysent said in the release her organization’s faculty neurosurgeons will evaluate patients and perform operations at Tri-City, and that university faculty will also oversee the healthcare district’s existing cardiac surgery program.
UCSD Health expects to place faculty physicians in North County to provide certain clinical services, the release added.
“Solidifying the affiliation agreement … is in alignment with Tri-City’s mission to advance the health and wellness of the community we serve as well as Tri-City’s vision to be recognized as the healthcare system of choice in our community” Tri-City Medical Center CEO Steve Dietlin said in the release.