Tenet Healthcare contemplates exclusive healthcare provider networks

June 3, 2014

sierra vistaBy KAREN VELIE

Tenet Healthcare, the parent company of two San Luis Obispo County hospitals, is contemplating switching to exclusive healthcare provider networks to provide doctors to its local hospitals.

Currently, Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center and Twin Cities Community Hospital contract with a group of emergency department doctors who work exclusively with Tenent Healthcare. On the other hand, the two groups the hospitals contract with for hospitalists and anesthesiologists also work with competing hospitals and medical groups.

As part of an operational review and evaluation, Tenet Healthcare is contemplating canceling contracts with Coastal Anesthesiology Medical Associates and San Luis Hospitalists, both of which have contracts to provide in-hospital doctor or anesthesiology services to Tenet Healthcare and Dignity Health owned hospitals.

The Affordable Care Act instructs hospitals to better align clinical partners, Sierra Vista spokesperson Ron Yukelson said.

“With the Affordable Care Act, it is incumbent for every health care provider (hospitals, physicians, managed care, etc.) to seek ways to more closely align our clinical partners and drive unnecessary costs out of the system,” Yukelson said in an email. “Neither Sierra Vista nor Twin Cities are prepared to publicly discuss our proprietary business reviews any more than any other business entity.”

If the contracts are canceled, the goal would be for local doctors to work for groups that Tenet Healthcare would have exclusive contracts with.

Several physicians with an ownership interest in San Luis Hospitalists have noted their opposition to Tenet canceling contracts with their firm.

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Yukelson is a joke and can’t be trusted. This whole idea is a shame for our community. Taking away local control and decision-making power. The Tribune article has a lot more information about the local doctors’ perspective (I suspect it was them who leaked this story).

The costs of health as a whole are a joke.

You go to a hospital, they charge “x”

You have insurance so they adjust down to “y”

Why can’t they just say an EKG costs “x” so charge “x”, why the cost play game…

Clients will not see a difference in the cost of the service, just the profit margin will increase.

At least Tenet is upfront and honest stating they are “for profit” vs. French which states they are “non-profit”. According to the Office of Statewide Health Planning French Hospital is profiting 6 million dollars a year and paying no taxes on their profits and pay their management employees quite well. Not bad for a non-profit! Tenet (Sierra Vista and Twin Cities) paid almost $2,000,000.00 in taxes. Of course they have to look for ways to cost their costs, they don’t have the advantages of non-profit.

Tenet doesn’t have a choice about being “upfront and honest” in their for-profit status.

Its paper money- They write off the costs of those who are uninsured by balancing the insured’s claims (over inflated price) so they take take the write off on the higher price.

For Profit hospitals and insurance Companies…

When it comes to health care, I don’t think monopolies work so well. It is usually the customer who suffers, not the oligarchs who run the system.