[caption id="attachment_56956" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Adventist Health will be moving into this north Santa Rosa office building. (credit: Keegan & Coppin)"][/caption]

SANTA ROSA -- Adventist Health's Northern California Network will move a significant portion of its administrative functions to Santa Rosa, where it recently leased more than 26,200 square feet of space at 463 Aviation Blvd., near Charles M. Schulz--Sonoma County Airport. 

The Roseville-based health system said the new Santa Rosa facility will house primarily its revenue cycle department, which includes billing, coding and health information management from the five hospitals it operates in Solano, Napa, Lake and Mendocino counties. There are no current plans to offer any clinical services in Sonoma County, according to Joshua Cowan, a spokesman for the Northern California Network.

The new facility, known as the Revenue Cycle Center, will be home to approximately 120 employees, most of whom will be transferred from their current campus-based positions, according to Adventist Health, which operates St. Helena Hospital in the Napa Valley, St. Helena Hospital Clear Lake in Lake County, the Behavioral Health facility in Vallejo, and Howard Memorial and Ukiah Valley hospitals in Mendocino County. It operates a total of 17 hospitals, more than 130 clinics and 14 home care agencies in California, Washington, Oregon and Hawaii.

By centralizing much of its administrative functions in Santa Rosa, the health system said it could likely create new space for expanded services at several of the existing hospital campuses without incurring the cost of building out new spaces.

Specific uses or services have not yet been determined. But, Mr. Cowan said, "on-campus space is very expensive. It makes sense to offer patient services in the facility rather than office functions which could be housed in less costly off-campus locations." For example, Mr. Cowan pointed to the St. Helena Hospital Napa Valley campus, where a project is under way that will update all of the patient care areas and expand the orthopedic and family birthing space without changing the current footprint of the facility.

Likewise, renovations to the emergency departments at Ukiah Valley and St. Helena Hospital Clear Lake "will benefit from the flexibility afforded by the additional space," Mr. Cowan said. And the new Howard Memorial Hospital in Willits, which is under construction, will have more space for patient care and less need for back office space.

The Santa Rosa location was chosen chiefly because of its relatively centralized location for the five hospital campuses. Additionally, Santa Rosa has a larger selection of the type and size of commercial real estate needed for the integration, the health system said.

The centralized location will also help the health system "reduce redundancy between the facilities, decrease the network's overall cost to collect, improve accuracy and better position Adventist Health to invest in updating outdated business technologies, which will result in efficient, lower-cost services to patients," it said.

Adventist Health employees will be phased into the new space beginning in the fourth quarter of 2012 and will continue through the fist half of 2013.

Last year, the health system pursued an affiliation with Palm Drive Hospital in Sebastopol, which was seeking to align with a larger health care organization. Palm Drive ultimately chose Marin General Hospital.