What We Can Do Locally

Robert Porter (Skip) Robinson


"When I describe Sonoma County as 'ground zero' for the changes that are coming into
play in California's health care industry, I mean this primarily in relationship to three
significant factors:
1) physician group practices in Sonoma County which were already under considerable
financial pressures (e.g., physicians were already leaving the county) prior to the
Health Plan of the Redwoods bankruptcy,
2) the falling apart of Health Plan of the Redwood and the "free for all" it started among
area employers and individuals and the related juxtapositions among other plans
(which still appears to be somewhat "fluid"), and
3) the capacity and interest of institutional players and prominent consumer/patient
advocates to build and continue a dialogue which can lead to the creation of some
solutions which are local and also to better define those problems which are
inevitably outside of the limits of the county.
Sonoma County has become a model for the types of problems which the California
health care industry is going to continue to encounter over the coming years and also for
the types of strategies and solutions that can be developed through dialogue and
cooperation. In a sense, Sonoma County becomes a laboratory for action for other
counties which will be going through similar circumstances but which may not yet have a
common forum for dialoguing and working problems out."


health care crisis, systemic approach, Sonoma County

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