Marin General Hospital, connected clinics and physician groups rebranded as MarinHealth

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Marin General Hospital, Prima Medical Foundation and two other connected health care groups have rebranded under the MarinHealth name, capping a decadelong movement toward streamlining the business of care for providers under local management.

Effective July 30, Marin General becomes MarinHealth Medical Center, Prima Medical Foundation and Marin Healthcare District Centers become MarinHealth Medical Network, and Marin General Hospital Foundation takes the name MarinHealth Foundation, the organizations announced.

All together, they rival the size of the largest private-sector Marin employer, Kaiser Permanente San Rafael Medical Center, with over 2,000 employees, according to the Business Journal’s Lists Online.

By comparison, MarinHealth's hospital has about 1,500 employees at its main campus in Greenbrae plus a half-dozen satellite locations, and its network has 150 physicians plus 300 employees in over 30 locations from Sausalito north to Novato as well as a half-dozen practices in Sonoma County, according to Lee Domanico, CEO. The capacity of the group is set to increase further a year from now, when the new hospital is set to open.

“When we came back under community control in 2010, the only entity that really existed was the hospital,” Domanico said. “Since that time, we have built the network of physicians, the network of ambulatory care sites and imaging centers, and now nine years later, we decided to group them under the name of MarinHealth.”

Marin Healthcare District regained control of Marin General in June 2010 after a contentious parting of ways with Sutter Health, which had managed the hospital for years, the Business Journal reported at the time. A month later, the hospital joined forces with small groups of physicians in Prima Medical Group and Marin Independent Practice Association to create Prima Medical Foundation.

The Prima group started in 1998 and 2005 with a handful of physicians from practices in Marin and Sonoma counties, the Business Journal reported. Within two years of creating the foundation, Prima grew to about 50 physicians, according to Domanico.

A key reason for physicians’ wanting to join a larger medical network is changing economics in the industry that makes operating independently challenging, he said.

“The overhead that’s necessary today to operate a private practice has gone up significantly,” Domanico said. “The cost of technology, computer systems, hardware and software have gone up to the point where it’s almost not feasible for individual doctors to be able to afford it.”

The network connected to the hospital offloads the cost of overhead such as billings, collections and office staffing for the practice, so the physicians can focus primarily on professional services, he said.

MarinHealth (mymarinhealth.org) also continues to have its 10-year strategic alliance with UCSF Health in Marin and Sonoma counties, according to Domanico.

Marin General was started in 1952, and ground was broken in August 2016 on a modern, seismically sound facility. With four stories and 260,000 square feet, the replacement hospital is set to start accepting its first patients in July 2020. It will have 114 private rooms, an expanded emergency department and six advanced operating suites.

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