I have been closely following the ever growing rift between the Sante Group and Valley Children’s Hospital for some time now.
Being a local primary care pediatrician and an associate clinical professor of pediatrics with the University of California at San Francisco-Fresno and working with both systems daily, it is very sad to see what is taking place not only for our patients (and our referral staff, let me tell you) but for how it reflects on the system as a whole.
It is difficult to understand the intricacies of the issues, but all I can say is shame on all of us for letting this get to this extreme. Denying easy access to care for specialty services in an area like Fresno where subspecialists are few and far between, having a children’s hospital close the doors to certain children, seeing the downright squabbling going back and forth — we, as primary care doctors for kids, really don’t know who to believe anymore.
Shame on all of us! There are so many talented doctors in all of the groups involved. I personally attend their lectures and lecture to them myself, see their work daily, and work side-by-side with them. They all have so much to offer patients, residents, medical students and the entire Central Valley. What a sad situation that it is coming down to this.
However, it is interesting that Valley Children’s did surgically carve out the groups they are denying in network coverage for — the Sante HMO patients — many of whom are children of the Community Regional Medical Center employees, the Sante employees and the CCFMG group. That is hitting below the belt.
Wake up, UCSF-Fresno faculty. This means your kids are involved. All it is going to take is one or two tragic events where a child was denied basic access to care when it was readily locally available to bring this nasty situation to even more of a head.
Does it need to get to that point?
Where is the trust and support here?
Changing the name of Children’s Hospital Central California back to Valley Children’s Hospital — really will that instill more trust?
Possibly eroding ties with UCSF-Fresno and trying to supposedly bolster ties with Stanford University, which is many miles away when UCSF-Fresno is just down the road?
The possibility of duplication of services is also expensive and our Valley does not have that kind of money.
In an underserved area with such fine institutions available, we all should be able to see the big picture and be willing to play in the same sandbox nicely. I think that some of the doctors involved in these decisions have forgotten their Hippocratic oaths.
Come on folks- let’s not break a system that has so much potential to be great for our Central Valley’s children.