MemorialCare Health System Announces Agreement to Purchase Certain Universal Care Assets; Pursue Health Plan License

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MemorialCare Health System in Southern California today announced an agreement to purchase specific assets of Universal Care and the filing of an application for its newly formed Seaside Health Plan to become a California licensed health plan. Seaside is organized to support managed Medi-Cal members and prepare for the California Children’s Services (CCS) demonstration project that addresses the needs of children with certain diseases and ongoing medical conditions.

These developments enhance MemorialCare’s mission of ensuring Southland communities have convenient access to high quality, evidence-based medicine, superior value, exceptional service and a network of integrated providers—top hospitals, physicians, outpatient services, ambulatory centers and preventive care for all ages.

“The new capabilities further our role in population health management, accountable care, medical homes, information technology, best-practice medicine and other elements of health reform,” says Barry Arbuckle, PhD, president & CEO, MemorialCare Health System, a not-for-profit integrated delivery system. “They expand our ability to further partner with health plans, employers, hospitals, physicians and providers to better serve patients and local communities.”

Seaside Health Plan, a California corporation functioning as a wholly-owned subsidiary of MemorialCare Health System, is applying for a Knox Keene License through the Department of Managed Care. With Seaside—named for MemorialCare’s first hospital which opened in 1907 and is today Long Beach Memorial Medical Center—MemorialCare continues its commitment to expanded population-based health care. The Universal Care agreement includes experienced staff and managed lives through plan-to-plan contracts serviced through assignment of agreements with Universal Care’s contracted providers and MemorialCare’s primary care physician network. Universal Care will continue operations of its Brand New Day and other specialty plans as a separate company unrelated to MemorialCare.

“MemorialCare Health System, with more than 11,000 employees and 2,500 affiliated physicians, is in a unique position to manage the health care needs of the communities we serve,” explains Dr. Arbuckle. “For example, as the region’s only health system with certified adult and children’s hospitals, we offer unprecedented, coordinated, comprehensive care for a lifetime. This is critical for children with special health needs and medical conditions requiring care well into adulthood. Too often, when children become adults, they must switch to new providers unrelated to those who cared for them as children, which can cause undue stress to patients and families. With MemorialCare, that transition is seamless.”

MemorialCare’s Miller Children’s Hospital Long Beach, the nation’s seventh largest children’s hospital in patient admissions, for decades has provided continuous care for children and families with its sister hospitals, affiliated physicians and outpatient and satellite centers.

MemorialCare includes six top hospitals—Long Beach Memorial, Community Hospital Long Beach, Miller Children’s Hospital Long Beach, Orange Coast Memorial and Saddleback Memorial Laguna Hills and San Clemente; medical groups—MemorialCare Medical Group, MemorialCare PromptCare and the Independent Practice Association (IPA) Greater Newport Physicians; MemorialCare HealthExpress retail clinics; and numerous outpatient health centers throughout Los Angeles and Orange counties.