Dignity Health is entering the managed care marketplace in Kern County, reports the Sacramento Business Journal. In a statement, Dignity CFO Michael Blaszyk said it had no current plans to expand beyond Kern, although the health system appears to engaging in a pilot program. Dignity has 3 hospitals in the county.
San Francisco-based Dignity filed for a limited license with the California Department of Managed Health Care at the end of February. The limited license doesn’t allow Dignity to enroll members or market a product directly, but it can share risk with a fully licensed health plan.
Our Take: Health systems getting into the insurance business isn’t a new idea-it was a fashionable trend 25 years ago, but most hospitals moved away managing and marketing their own plans. The trend is back. Example: in northern California, Adventist Health is launching a Medicare HMO plan next year, and Catholic Health Initiatives has been making aggressive moves in the insurance space since early 2013.