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Not-for-Profit Hospitals Find Opportunity Amid Uncertainty

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, December 3, 2013

"What we are primarily focusing on is finding economies of scale at a five medical center health system across California," he says. "We are one of the largest health systems in the state, yet we have plenty of opportunity to collaborate and join forces in terms of operating more efficiently and finding best practices among ourselves. That has been our primary focus."

Maurice says the PPACA rollout has been relatively successful in California, particularly the health insurance exchanges coordinated under Covered California, where UC Davis is participating in two of the four plans available in its market. Maurice says UC Davis continues to look for partnership opportunities with other hospitals in the area.

"It doesn't necessarily mean acquisition. It could be other forms of partnership, such as cancer center networks that we are very successful with here at UC Davis with community hospitals in the area, or other forms of partnerships," he says. "We also have developed our primary care network at UC Davis and have over 300 physicians across 16 sites in the Sacramento area who provide primary care that support our faculty practice plan."

But like Ubbing, Maurice is concerned about particular aspects of healthcare reform. "We definitely would not like to see the contraction of government reimbursements with the uncertainty related to the exchanges and the effect on the commercial markets," he says. "We are hoping the disproportionate share payment reductions in particular are reconsidered in terms of the size and scale of the reductions. Those are the biggest challenge we see from the government."

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