FAIRFIELD --  Partnership HealthPlan of California, a nonprofit that administers Medi-Cal benefits in six  counties, said recently that it is looking to fill 100 positions over the next 12 months after expanding significantly further into Northern California.

The health plan held a job fair just last week, seeking to fill a range of positions, from clerical to physicians and other medical professionals. The growth is a direct response from a recent and significant expansion further north, where it said it will bring managed Medi-Cal to Humboldt, Trinity, Del Norte, Lassen, Lake, Modoc, Shasta and Siskiyou counties. That's in addition to the counties it already contracts with, which include Solano, Napa, Yolo, Sonoma, Marin and Mendocino counties.

The Affordable Care Act is spurring much of the growth for the nonprofit.

"With healthcare reform, changes in state-run health programs and expansion into new counties, [Partnership] is in a significant growth mode," said Jack Horn, chief executive officer.   "This is an exciting time of change, and our infrastructure and staffing levels are growing to meet the challenges that the future holds for healthcare."

Partnership  currently has 325 employees.  As a result of the rapid growth and a greatly expanded service area, PHC expects to make many of the new slots "teleworker" positions.  Currently, about eight percent of PHC's total staff work from home.  That figure will likely increase to 20-25% over the next 18 months.

"The expansion of Medi-Cal eligibility will also grow our membership," Mr. Horn said.  "Federal and state efforts to provide healthcare access to more low-income residents means more members.  We take this added responsibility very seriously and are working hard to plan for growth so our new members can expect the same level of quality service as our current members receive."

The newly added Northern counties will approximately 100,000 new members to the health plan, on top of its current 200,000 members.

Partnership’s reimbursement to physicians includes a fee-for-service payment, capitation and additional incentives for taking on Medi-Cal recipients, versus a predetermined, non-negotiable state reimbursement.

It's one of six such "County Organized Health Systems" that contract with the state to manage Medi-Cal patients and has annual budget of $928 million.

Additional information about PHC can be found at www.partnershiphp.org.