UPDATE: Ron Yukelson, spokesman for Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center, issued a statement Thursday calling the news release sent out by the new group “inaccurate.”
He said that in an effort to provide quality service, Sierra Vista was evaluating physician groups that provide anesthesia, emergency department and hospitalist services.
“As part of this evaluation, we sought the input of our medical staff leadership and membership, as well as members of our Governing Board. We obtained their input by arranging for them to meet with several highly qualified potential physician groups,” Yukelson said, characterizing the meetings as “productive.”
Tenet Healthcare owns 80 hospitals including 12 in California.
Original story: A new statewide organization announced Wednesday that it has formed to protest a proposal by Tenet Healthcare to replace its contracts with local doctors for some services with a single contract with a national provider who would serve all Tenet hospitals in California — including Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center in San Luis Obispo and Twin Cities Community Hospital in Templeton.
Tenet has said it will decide in the next few months whether to replace its contracts with local physicians who provide anesthesiology, hospitalist and emergency department services. Tenet is considering three national companies to replace them, and those companies were scheduled to tour Tenet hospitals in California this month to meet with medical executive committees and administrators. Representatives of the companies are visiting San Luis Obispo this week, Sierra Vista spokesman Ron Yukelson said.
Dr. William Sogaard, a hospitalist and chief of staff at Sierra Vista, said he’s spoken with local physicians about the new group, called the Coalition for Quality Hospital Care.
“There is no one at Sierra Vista or Twin Cities who is signed up with this coalition,” he said. “The doctors here seem to think that they want to handle things differently, on a more local basis.”
In May, the executive committee of the 400-member physician medical staff at Sierra Vista, led by Sogaard, formally opposed the Tenet plan.
The new group was created by emergency physicans and is supported by the American Academy of Emergency Medicine and the California chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians, spokeswoman Zinie Chen Sampson.
The corporate office of Tenet Healthcare, which owns 80 hospitals including 12 in California, did not respond to a request for comment on Wednesday.