UCSD Health and Tri-City Medical Center announced a partnership on Wednesday that allows the North County health district to refer patients to university specialists. The affiliation gives the Oceanside hospital’s patients access to the university’s specialized services while also expanding UCSD’s patient care coverage.
Tri-City patients can now be referred to UCSD Health experts in areas including, but not limited to, neurological, psychiatric, surgical, oncological and cardiological care. Patients can be seen by UCSD medical staff at Tri-City, or if the need calls for it, at UCSD Health facilities. The increase in referrals gives UCSD Health more patient cases for its physicians and medical students.
Interim CEO of UCSD Health Patty Maysent said the partnership combines the resources of both systems to ensure that patients receive the highest quality of care.
“For patients to receive the best possible health care, community physicians, local hospitals and academic health providers must integrate systems of care and align clinical, research and administrative expertise,” Maysent said in a joint press release.
Tri-City Medical Center CEO Tim Moran told the UCSD Guardian that greater patient care is at the center of Tri-City’s affiliation with UCSD Health.
“The main focus of the partnership is to be in a better position to provide care for more people that live in the [North County] San Diego area,” Moran said.
Others who benefit from this partnership are UCSD employees who reside in North County because they can be treated closer to home at Tri-City.
Moran said, “Employees in the UC Health System can access us on the same basis as they would if they were going to a UCSD facility.”
Chief Marketing Officer of Tri-City David Bennett believes the University of California brand will strengthen Tri-City in its competition for market share against other healthcare systems, including Kaiser Permanente, Palomar Health, Scripps Health and Sharp HealthCare.
“The University of California is a very well-respected system,” Bennett explained to the Guardian. “[The partnership] creates more of a presence for Tri-City to keep more of the [patient] population in North County.”
Moran added that the aim of the partnership is to provide medical services to the entire North County.
“Tri-City’s most fundamental goal is to be the healthcare provider of choice for this market for the people that live [in North County San Diego],” Moran told the Guardian. “The UCSD Health System is working with us to take care of more patients in North County, and is working with them to facilitate care for patients who need the level of care that [the UC system] can provide.”
With the added support from the UCSD Health System, Tri-City plans to accommodate additional medical staff in terms of placement and new communication systems.
“The UC Health System will bring a number of specialist physicians to our market and we will provide space for them on campus,” Moran said. “We will also be developing a clinically integrated network for working closely together to provide shared information on patient care.”