U. of Cal­i­for­nia Health ex­pects gains de­spite shift­ing payer mix

Modern Healthcare - - REGIONAL NEWS - —Beth Kutscher

Univer­sity of Cal­i­for­nia Health is bullish on its fu­ture, even as the state’s five med­i­cal cen­ters con­front a chal­leng­ing payer mix that’s rapidly shift­ing to Med­i­caid.

The sys­tem is pro­ject­ing growth as it comes off a build­ing cam­paign and, like most health sys­tems, con­tin­ues to tran­si­tion to value-based care.

At an in­vestor pre­sen­ta­tion at the J.P. Mor­gan Health­care Con­fer­ence last week, ex­ec­u­tives out­lined ef­forts to in­crease col­lab­o­ra­tion among their hospi­tals in or­der to in­crease their pur­chas­ing power, cut costs and man­age care for spe­cial pop­u­la­tions.

UC Health re­cently com­pleted a seven-year, $1.6 bil­lion cap­i­tal cam­paign that sup­ported a new cam­pus for the Univer­sity of Cal­i­for­nia at San Fran­cisco in the city’s Mis­sion Bay neigh­bor­hood. The cam­pus in­cludes a women’s hos­pi­tal, a chil­dren’s hos­pi­tal, a can­cer cen­ter and out­pa­tient ser­vices.

But while the pub­lic health sys­tem is in build­ing mode, it is also fac­ing the re­al­ity of op­er­at­ing in a state where one-third of the pop­u­la­tion is now cov­ered by Med­i­caid.

Al­though Cal­i­for­nia is no longer deal­ing with a deficit from ear­lier in the decade, Gov. Jerry Brown’s pro­posed fis­cal 2017 bud­get has come un­der fire for not rolling back the re­ces­sion-era rate cuts im­ple­mented in 2011.

Cal­i­for­nia’s Med­i­caid rates are among the low­est in the coun­try rel­a­tive to Medi­care rates, ac­cord­ing to data from the Kaiser Fam­ily Foun­da­tion.

UC Health’s med­i­cal cen­ters are work­ing more closely with each other and jointly de­vel­op­ing strate­gies for cost re­duc­tions, clin­i­cal ser­vice lines and man­ag­ing care for spe­cial pop­u­la­tions, in­clud­ing a sys­temwide Med­i­caid strat­egy.

Univer­sity of Cal­i­for­nia Health’s new UCSF cam­pus in the Mis­sion Bay neigh­bor­hood

of San Fran­cisco opened last year.

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