UC San Diego Health System and El Centro Regional Medical Center Enter into Long-Term Management Services Agreement

Health Systems Form Strategic Business and Clinical Relationship to Enhance Patient Care in Imperial Valley

On May 5, 2015, UC San Diego Health System and the City of El Centro entered into a long-term management services agreement on behalf of El Centro Regional Medical Center (ECRMC), the city-owned hospital, with the goal of enhancing the delivery of high-quality health care to patients in the Imperial Valley.

“The Hospital Affiliation Task Force has dedicated significant resources to search for a strategic partner that would enhance the availability and quality of health care services for the entire Imperial Valley, and we have found that partner in UC San Diego Health System,” said Mayor Efrain Silva.

“In addition to providing important operational and clinical support, our relationship with UC San Diego Health System will help local patients gain greater access to a comprehensive continuum of care in El Centro and San Diego including an array of specialized medical and surgical services. Additionally, our employees will have direct access to best practices and expertise of the region’s top-ranked health system,” said Tomas Virgen, interim CEO, ECRMC.

“Through this collaboration, the two health systems will strive to deliver superior health outcomes, service experience and affordability to patients in Imperial Valley,” said Paul Viviano, CEO, UC San Diego Health System. “We are proud to have El Centro Regional Medical Center be part of our mission of delivering outstanding patient care through commitment to the community, groundbreaking research and inspired teaching.”

The management services agreement will launch with UC San Diego Health System conducting a comprehensive assessment of ECRMC’s operational and clinical needs, to be followed by a joint development of a management plan for select ECRMC departments, programs, and functions. Hospital employees will remain employees of ECRMC. The health systems will also collaborate to provide clinical team members at ECRMC with access to joint research projects and educational opportunities such as Grand Rounds and continuing medical education through the UC San Diego School of Medicine.

If needed, patients of ECRMC will have direct access to tertiary and quaternary care services of UC San Diego Health System. These include highly specialized and advanced diagnostic, imaging, surgical, oncologic and cardiac services typically only found in academic health centers.

UC San Diego Health System currently supports the Imperial Valley by providing tertiary care for complex cardiovascular disease, primary angioplasty for acute myocardial infarction, telemedicine stroke consultations and advanced care for high-risk pregnancies, trauma and burn patients. Future areas of specialty support will include endocrinology, allergy and immunology, cardiology, rheumatology, and nephrology.

The relationship between UC San Diego Health System and ECRMC follows the recent affiliation of Imperial Valley Family Care Medical Group (IVFCMG) with the UC San Diego Health Physician Network. IVFCMG ╠ÂImperial County’s largest multi-specialty group with 13 clinics including locations in El Centro, Brawley, and Calexico ╠Âis continuing its efforts through the UC San Diego Health network to enhance the depth and quality of multispecialty health care services and clinical trials available to patients in the Imperial Valley and surrounding communities. Other local physicians will have the opportunity to become part of the growing UC San Diego Health Physician Network.

Viviano noted that the growing network of physicians, hospitals and other providers in the UC San Diego Health System care network presents opportunities to develop and offer narrow network and other innovative health insurance products to local employers, with the goal of delivering quality patient outcomes while managing the total cost of care.

El Centro Regional Medical Center is an acute-care medical center, serving the health care needs of the Imperial Valley since 1956. In addition to the 161-bed hospital, ECRMC also owns and operates the Oncology & Hematology of Imperial Valley, Wound Healing Center and outpatient clinics in El Centro and Calexico. The outpatient centers provide exceptional primary and specialty care for residents seeking enhanced well being and improved quality of life.

UC San Diego Health System, the region's only academic health system, has been ranked #1 in San Diego for four consecutive years by U.S. News & World Report. Leapfrog Group has twice named UC San Diego Health System to its annual list of Top Hospitals, a distinction given to select hospitals nationwide for demonstrating excellence in hospital safety and quality. The Leapfrog Top Hospital award is an elite distinction given to less than seven percent of all eligible hospitals. UC San Diego Health System has also repeatedly received A safety scores from the independent organization.

UC San Diego Health System is comprised of UC San Diego Medical Center in Hillcrest and Thornton Hospital, Moores Cancer Center (one of only 41 National Cancer Institute designated comprehensive cancer centers in the country, and the first and only San Diego based National Comprehensive Cancer Network® Member Institution), Shiley Eye Institute, Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center and Jacobs Medical Center (opening 2016) in La Jolla, as well as other primary and specialty practices located throughout Southern California. For more information, visit health.ucsd.edu