The North Bay Business Journal’s annual Health Care Industry Conference and Healthiest Companies Awards will include a panel discussion by leading health care executives.
The panelists are Judy Coffey, R.N., senior vice president and Sonoma-Marin area manager for Kaiser Permanente; Jon Friedenberg, chief administrative officer and president of the Marin General Hospital Foundation; Mike Purvis, chief administrative officer at Sutter Santa Rosa Regional Hospital, and Todd Salnas, president St. Joseph Health, Sonoma County.
In anticipation of the conference, the Business Journal asked these health care leaders what kind of impact Covered California and the Affordable Care Act has had on their facility. Other potential topics for the panel Nov. 20 plans for new facilities and how organizations are extending care to the newly insured and the uninsured.
Here are the panelists responses on the impact of Covered California and the ACA:
Judy Coffey, R.N., senior vice president and Sonoma-Marin area manager for Kaiser Permanente’s Marin-Sonoma Service Area.
“Kaiser Permanente is pleased to again offer coverage through Covered California. Expanding access to affordable health coverage has been a core part of our mission for over 70 years, and Covered California has made access to health care a reality for more people than ever before.
We at Kaiser Permanente provide the same world-class, industry leading health care delivery system to Covered California members that millions of Californians already rely on for their health care needs.
Our participation in Covered California has also contributed to overall membership growth to more than 9,000 new members in our Marin-Sonoma area. Our medical offices, hospitals, and emergency departments have all seen increased utilization, and we are meeting the needs of our members and patients by hiring more clinical staff, including nurses, physicians, and mental health professionals, and transforming care through our unique integrated health care delivery system.”
Coffey is a Board Certified Registered Nurse and holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration. An active member in the community, Coffey serves on the American Heart Association National Hospital Accreditation Business Management Committee and Western States Affiliate Board, Sonoma County Health Action Council, Sonoma County Health Alliance, Sonoma County Workforce Investment Board, Empire College Board, United Way of the Wine Country Board, and is currently the Chair of the North Bay Hospital Council Board.
Jon Friedenberg, chief administrative officer and president of the Marin General Hospital Foundation.
“More patients in our community are covered for the care they need because of Covered California. As a result, Marin General Hospital (MGH) has experienced a reduction in both charity care and uncompensated care. The cost savings and payments related to health care for those who were once uninsured give the hospital an opportunity to better serve our constituents.
In addition to the traditional health plans (e.g. Blue Cross & Blue Shield), MGH has partnered with two at-risk programs, including a commercial plan called Western Health Advantage (WHA) and Partnership Health Plan (PHP) under the MediCal expansion program. Both programs have allowed MGH to successfully sign up new members, increasing those we treat by 15 to 20 percent each of the last two years. Also, our primary care physician network is experiencing an increase in the number of visits from those in our community who are enrolled in Covered California. These primary care visits allow our physicians to evaluate, diagnose and treat conditions at an early stage, thereby reducing unnecessary visits to the emergency department and in some cases, hospital admissions. Covered California is, in many ways, allowing us to keep more people in our community healthier.