Sonoma hospital, area doctors explore new group, facilities

[caption id="attachment_15881" align="alignleft" width="288" caption="Sooma Valley Hospital will spend about $35 million upgrading the facility to meet state earthquake safety standards, including the construction of a new emergency room and central utility plant. "][/caption]

SONOMA COUNTY – Plans to form a medical group-type partnership between Sonoma Valley Hospital and local physicians will materialize soon, according to officials on both sides, some expecting a deal as soon as the end of the year.

The future partners also discussed a mutual desire to construct a medical office building near the hospital.

“The industry has developed in such a way that if you don’t come together with a group you are going out of business, both on the physician side and for the hospital,” said Sonoma urologist Nevin Smith, who serves on the board of the 300-physician association, the Marin IPA.

Most of the city of Sonoma’s doctors are already connected through the Novato-based independent practice association, but Dr. Smith said hospital or foundation support provides better wages and insurer bargaining power.

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