Canopy Health Receives License, Names New Leadership

Accountable Care Network Builds Executive Team to Spur Bay Area Growth

By Kristen Bole

Canopy Health, the Bay Area-wide health care network being developed by UCSF Health, John Muir Health and three physician groups, has received its Knox-Keene license to operate in seven Bay Area counties. It also has built out its management team, naming Meg Durbin, MD, as chief medical officer and Patrick Caster as chief financial officer.

The restricted license from the California Department of Managed Health Care enables the network to provide services in Marin, Southern Sonoma, San Francisco, Alameda, Contra Costa, and portions of San Mateo and Solano counties. Canopy Health will contract directly with health plans on behalf of all providers who are part of the network to develop an insurance product that provides access to high-quality care at an affordable price. Canopy Health currently includes more than 4,000 physicians and 12 hospitals throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.

portrait of Joel Criste
Joel Criste

“Our model is unique, as we are partnering with health plans to offer a competitively priced insurance product, rather than selling our own plan,” said Canopy Health Chief Executive Officer Joel Criste. "By accepting risk, we are accountable for the overall health of the patients we serve. It puts the focus where it should be – keeping patients as healthy as possible and providing the care they need in the most appropriate setting, whether that is the primary care physician’s office, an outpatient center or acute care hospital.”

The breadth of the Canopy Health network will enable patients to have in-network access to a full continuum of care, through close connections between primary care providers, community hospitals, medical groups (facilities and practitioners) and academic medical centers.

Canopy Health’s partners have experience in successful care models developed under the Affordable Care Act, such as Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), that have demonstrated lower health care costs with improved quality. When better coordination of care results in lower costs, the savings achieved also can be passed along to consumers in the form of lower insurance premiums. Discussions are under way with insurers to offer products that will provide Bay Area residents with an option to choose Canopy Health during open enrollment in the fall of 2016.

Executive Team Spurs Growth

To support the growing network, Canopy Health has also added two seasoned health care leaders; Dr. Meg Durbin, as Chief Medical Officer, and Patrick Caster as Chief Financial Officer.

portrait of Meg Durbin
Meg Durbin
portrait of Patrick Caster
Patrick Caster

“Dr. Durbin and Patrick Caster bring outstanding experience and expertise to Canopy Health as we build our network across the Bay Area,” said Criste. “They’ve made a seamless transition and will help to speed our development.”

Durbin joined Canopy Health after serving as Sutter Health’s Peninsula Coastal Region vice president for care coordination. As chair of Sutter Health’s Maintenance Committee, she also led system-wide efforts to assess and update preventive care guidelines across Sutter Health’s physician network and improve mental health and primary care integration. In addition, she served as a member of a working group to implement shared-savings accountable care arrangements between Sutter Health and Cigna, United Health Care, and several employer groups.

During her nearly 20-year career with the Palo Alto Medical Foundation, a Sutter Health affiliate, Durbin also served as regional medical director of managed care. An internal medicine physician and pediatrician, Durbin received her medical degree from the University of California, Davis and completed her residency at UCSF and fellowship at Stanford.

Patrick Caster brings more than 25 years of health care finance and operations experience to Canopy Health. Most recently, he was chief operating and financial officer for PIH Health, a non-profit, regional healthcare network in southern California.

Caster was also the lead representative from PIH Health for the founding of the Vivity joint venture with Anthem Blue Cross, UCLA Health, Cedars Sinai, Huntington Hospital, Torrance Memorial Medical Center, PIH Health, MemorialCare Health System and Good Samaritan Hospital, which launched in 2015. In addition, Caster chaired the team that successfully secured a restricted Knox-Keene license from the California Department of Managed Health Care for Vivity.

About Canopy Health  

Launched in March 2015 as an affiliation between UCSF Health and John Muir Health, Canopy aims to provide a top-quality continuum of care across the San Francisco Bay Area through affiliations with primary care providers, community hospitals, top-tier academic medical facilities and medical groups. In addition to its founding members, Canopy currently includes three physician groups and corporate shareholders – Hill Physicians Medical Group, Muir Medical Group IPA and Meritage Medical Network – representing more than 4,000 physicians in the Bay Area, as well as seven medical centers. As an Accountable Care Organization, Canopy Health will partner with health plans to offer competitively priced insurance products starting in the fall of 2016. The Emeryville, Calif. – based network is licensed in Marin, Southern Sonoma, San Francisco, Alameda, Contra Costa, and portions of San Mateo and Solano counties.

About UCSF

UC San Francisco (UCSF) is a leading university dedicated to promoting health worldwide through advanced biomedical research, graduate-level education in the life sciences and health professions, and excellence in patient care. It includes top-ranked graduate schools of dentistry, medicine, nursing and pharmacy; a graduate division with nationally renowned programs in basic, biomedical, translational and population sciences; and a preeminent biomedical research enterprise. It also includes UCSF Health, which comprises top ranked hospitals, UCSF Medical Center and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals, and other partner and affiliated hospitals and healthcare providers throughout the Bay Area.

About John Muir Health

John Muir Health is a nationally recognized, not-for-profit health care organization east of San Francisco serving patients in Contra Costa, eastern Alameda and southern Solano Counties. It includes a network of more than 1,000 primary care and specialty physicians, more than 6,000 employees, medical centers in Concord and Walnut Creek, including Contra Costa County’s only trauma center, and a Behavioral Health Center. John Muir Health also has partnerships with UCSF Health, Tenet Healthcare/San Ramon Regional Medical Center and Stanford Children's Health. The health system offers a full-range of medical services, including primary care, outpatient and imaging services, and is widely recognized as a leader in many specialties – neurosciences, orthopedic, cancer, cardiovascular, trauma, emergency, pediatrics and high-risk obstetrics care.

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