UCSF Affiliates with Hill Physicians Medical Group

UCSF will end its long-standing affiliation with Brown & Toland Medical Group on Dec. 31, 2009, joining Hill Physicians Medical Group in San Francisco, UCSF officials said today.

“After more than a year of careful planning and months of thoughtful negotiation, we are pleased to announce that UCSF Medical Group, UCSF Medical Center and Hill Physicians Medical Group have formed a new affiliation to provide access to high-quality primary and specialty health services for HMO members whose primary care provider is based in San Francisco,” said Sam Hawgood, interim dean of UCSF School of Medicine and Mark Laret, CEO of UCSF Medical Center, in a joint statement issued today.

Hill Physicians is the largest independent physician association in Northern California and is a recognized leader in innovative managed health care. The new affiliation with Hill Physicians will provide an opportunity for patients who were previously covered by Brown & Toland to continue to receive comprehensive care through UCSF.

All doctors who are members of the UCSF Medical Group will become participating physicians of Hill Physicians, effective Jan. 1, 2010. Read the news release.

The new arrangement affects patients who belong to an HMO through Aetna, Anthem Blue Cross, Blue Shield, CIGNA, HealthNet or United/PacificCare. Patients who select a Hill Physicians doctor in San Francisco or Daly City for primary care can receive specialty care from UCSF, UCSF Medical Center, UCSF Children’s Hospital, and Hill Physicians specialists simply by a referral from their primary care physician.

UCSF employees will have the opportunity to switch medical plans and medical groups during Open Enrollment, which from Oct. 29 to Nov. 24, according to David Odato, chief administrative and Human Resources officer at UCSF Medical Center.

Odato issued the message below informing the campus community about the new affiliation on August 11:

Dear Colleagues,

If you’re a member of HealthNet or Blue Cross Plus, a change will take place next year that could affect how you get care at UCSF Medical Center. All doctors in UCSF Medical Group will join Hill Physicians Medical Group in San Francisco, effective Jan. 1, and will no longer participate in Brown & Toland Medical Group. This change may affect you and your family members who receive primary or specialty care at UCSF Medical Center and UCSF Children’s Hospital.

Brown & Toland and UCSF will end its long-standing affiliation on Dec. 31. A new referral-only agreement is being negotiated with Brown & Toland. That agreement is expected to require prior authorization for referrals from Brown & Toland primary care doctors to UCSF specialists.

During Open Enrollment from Oct. 29 to Nov. 24, you will have the opportunity to switch medical plans and medical groups. Although you don’t need to take action now, select Hill Physicians Medical Group and a Hill Physicians primary care doctor in San Francisco, Daly City or South San Francisco during Open Enrollment, if you want unrestricted access to UCSF specialists. Our new affiliation with Hill Physicians will enable you to continue receiving comprehensive care at UCSF.

Outside of Open Enrollment, you may change your primary care doctor and medical group by contacting your plan directly and requesting the change. Changes made prior to the 15th of each month will be effective the first of the following month.

More information about your options will be available by mid-October, including information about selecting a Hill Physicians primary care doctor in San Francisco. 

If you have a serious health condition and don’t choose Hill Physicians, you may be eligible for transition-of-care benefits, allowing you continued access to your UCSF specialists for up to one year.

Employees enrolled in Kaiser Permanente HMO, Blue Cross preferred provider organization (PPO) or CIGNA PPO will not be affected.

Updates will be provided as more information becomes available.  Assistance to address your specific concerns also will be offered during Open Enrollment. Information for the general public, not specific for UCSF employees, is available at www.accessUCSF.org and www.HillPhysicians.com/UCSF.


David Odato
Chief Administrative and Human Resources Officer
UCSF Medical Center

Related Link:

UCSF and Hill Physicians Form New Health Care Option for San Francisco
UCSF News Office, August 11, 2009