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What We Can Do Locally

By Robert Porter (Skip) Robinson


"When I describe Sonoma County as 'ground zero' for the changes that are coming into play in California's health care industry, I mean this primarily in relationship to three significant factors: 1) physician group practices in Sonoma County which were already under considerable financial pressures (e.g., physicians were already leaving the county) prior to the Health Plan of the Redwoods bankruptcy, 2) the falling apart of Health Plan of the Redwood and the "free for all" it started among area employers and individuals and the related juxtapositions among other plans (which still appears to be somewhat "fluid"), and 3) the capacity and interest of institutional players and prominent consumer/patient advocates to build and continue a dialogue which can lead to the creation of some solutions which are local and also to better define those problems which are inevitably outside of the limits of the county. Sonoma County has become a model for the types of problems which the California health care industry is going to continue to encounter over the coming years and also for the types of strategies and solutions that can be developed through dialogue and cooperation. In a sense, Sonoma County becomes a laboratory for action for other counties which will be going through similar circumstances but which may not yet have a common forum for dialoguing and working problems out.

Topics: health care crisis, systemic approach, Sonoma County
Publisher: Proceedings of the 50th Annual Meeting of the ISSS - 2006, Sonoma, CA, USA
Year: 2006
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