Pleasanton Weekly

News - July 16, 2010

Lawsuit dropped against ValleyCare Health System

Patient-Physician Alliance decides against pursuing claim

by Jeb Bing

An organization calling itself The Patient-Physician Alliance has dropped its lawsuit against ValleyCare Health System that charged the Pleasanton-based nonprofit with lacking a sufficient number of physicians to care for patients and focused on costs, not patients.

ValleyCare representatives called the suit, filed in Alameda County Superior Court in September 2009, "baseless." It was prepared to fight the charges in court and initially asked the court to dismiss the case.

"ValleyCare was eager to present its case to the court, and was confident that the court would rule in ValleyCare Medical Foundation's favor," spokeswoman Madonna D'Angelo said in a statement.

"Today, we learned that the Patient-Physician Alliance lawyers have dismissed their lawsuit entirely, without waiting for the court's ruling, and without negotiating any settlement or other terms with any of those they sued," the statement said.

"This lawsuit is now over, and ValleyCare Medical Foundation looks forward to continuing our work to serve the community," D'Angelo added.

The suit by the Berkeley-based Patient-Physician Alliance alleged that the health system did not have the required number of physicians; focused on controlling costs, not on patient care; and was creating a monopoly for care in the Tri-Valley.

A spokesperson for the alliance told California Healthline, a daily digest of information related to health care, that "the situation at ValleyCare is 'complicated' and that the issues raised in the suit 'have not disappeared,' even though the suit was being dropped."

On its Website, the Patient-Physician Alliance, located at 821 Bancroft Way in Berkeley, claims that it "provides a platform for aligning physician and patient interests, values, and improved outcomes and overall wellness."

Its agenda, the statement adds, "is to inform and mobilize physicians and patients through leadership training, best practices, and other action-oriented strategies."

For more information on the alliance, log on to its Website at www.patientphysicianalliance.com.

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