New Agreement Joins Sonoma Valley Hospital With Marin Healthcare District And Marin General Hospital

GREENBRAE, CA — Broader access to patient care and a wider selection of healthcare services are just some of the benefits that Bay Area residents can expect with the new collaborative agreement between Sonoma Valley Hospital (SVH) and Marin Healthcare District (MHD), which operates Marin General Hospital. The arrangement formalizes an affiliation agreement by MHD to provide management services, augmenting physician services as well as administrative depth through the newly combined organization.

The Sonoma Valley Health Care District board approved the MHD proposal at its meeting Thursday, May 12.

“The synergies between the Marin and Sonoma communities make this an ideal partnership to benefit Bay Area residents,” says Joel Sklar, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Marin General Hospital, and a local cardiologist.

The agreement is an outgrowth of discussions between Marin General Hospital and several Bay Area healthcare providers to widen its delivery of quality patient care and services to Bay Area residents after ending its agreement with Sutter Health in June 2010, notes Sklar. The new collaboration will enable Sonoma Valley Hospital to offer Marin General Hospital’s additional specialty services.

Sklar notes that this new agreement adds to a number of positive changes in the make-up of the North Bay medical community. The Marin IPA, a locally based individual practice association of physicians, has worked closely with Sonoma Valley physicians and SVH for many years. It has extended its service area now to include all of Sonoma County, augmenting patient services under the Marin-Sonoma IPA (MSIPA) banner. The MSIPA is a healthcare network now representing more than 400 local physician members, and it provides health care and administers benefits for HMO members in Marin and Sonoma Counties.

Many of the physicians serving both hospitals and who are part of the Marin-Sonoma IPA also have become clinically integrated as part of Prima Medical Group, a local, physician-owned and -operated group of physicians serving Marin and Southern Sonoma Counties. This new integration is unique in California and facilitates network-wide access to an electronic medical record (EMR), streamlining delivery of healthcare and prescription services.

“Over the last year, the level of collaboration among the various medical community organizations has meant an impressive extension of services and better access to care for our local community residents. It’s a win for everyone,” says Joel Criste, Chief Executive Officer, Prima Medical Foundation and MSIPA.

Marin General Hospital, Sonoma Valley Health Care District and the Marin-Sonoma IPA formed the Prima Medical Foundation to support and align hospitals and physicians in July 2010.