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St. Joseph Health doctors and hospitals form managed care network in Sonoma and Napa counties

St. Joseph Health has created a managed care network that brings together several local hospitals and more than 360 primary and specialty care physicians in Sonoma and Napa counties.

The network, called the St. Joseph Health Medical Network, includes ?St. Joseph Health physician practices and clinics and Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, Queen of the Valley Medical Center and Petaluma Valley Hospital. Patients using the network will have access to a full range of primary care doctors and specialists, hospitals, outpatient and urgent care centers.

Previously, doctors in the fledgling St. Joseph Health Medical Group partnered with Sutter Health and the Meritage Medical Network to contract with large commercial HMO networks. The St. Joseph Health Medical Group has now grown large enough to form its own network and contract directly with HMOs.

“We’ve reached the size where our medical group is large enough and our hospital services are broad enough,” said Bob Just, chief operating officer of St. Joseph Health Medical Group.

The managed care network, slated to launch April 1, also will include other local hospitals, such as Healdsburg District Hospital, and will collaborate with the UCSF Medical Center and other academic health institutions for advanced and highly specialized levels of health care.

St. Joseph said the network is expected to contract with most major HMO and Medicare Advantage plans for seniors. For seniors, the network will deepen its affiliation with HMO Western Health Advantage and SCAN Health Plan.

The new network, which still must be approved by the state Department of Managed Health Care, will be rolled out in phases, beginning with the transfer of all St. Joseph Health Medical Group patients. These patients will receive a letter from their health plans advising them of the change.

The patients will receive a new health insurance card with “SJHMN” listed as their medical network, rather than, say, Meritage Medical Network. ?St. Joseph said the assigned physicians for this initial group of patients will not change.

You can reach Staff Writer Martin Espinoza at 707-521-5213 or martin.espinoza@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @renofish.

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