Berkeley group drops lawsuit against ValleyCare Health System

Patient-Physician Alliance decides against pursuing claim 2 days before court hearing

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

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Like this comment
Posted by Mike
a resident of Highland Oaks
on Jul 10, 2010 at 3:26 pm

Nobody involved in bringing this important information to our attention thought that we might be interested in knowing why the Patient-Physician Alliance decided to drop the suit?

Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Jul 10, 2010 at 5:35 pm

I have no idea what happened. I don't have a need to know more!

If the suit has been dropped, how come you want to know more details?


Like this comment
Posted by steve
a resident of Parkside
on Jul 12, 2010 at 8:54 am

The suit was a total shakedown of VallyCare by some group that pretends to care about patient costs and coverage. They dropped the suit because V.C. hired more doctors to help manage the system. The claimants said that they were running the hospital with businessmen in charge instead of doctors.
Funny thing is, it is a business. Imagine being required to have doctors balance the hospitals finances instead of accountants. The lawyers are like vultures trying to exploit loopholes wherever they can....there's a special place in hell for these scumbags.

Like this comment
Posted by DB
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Jul 12, 2010 at 12:33 pm

Imagine having accountants make medical decisions - oh wait, you don't have to imagine that, that's the way it's done...

Like this comment
Posted by Anne
a resident of Del Prado
on Jul 12, 2010 at 1:17 pm

My dad just had open heart surgery at Valley Care and we couldn't have been happier with the care he recieved! We were amazed at how well he was cared for, all the way from pre op/admitting to his release. Glad to see that suit go away!

Like this comment
Posted by RestOfStory
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 12, 2010 at 11:16 pm

Are the doctors hired by the hospital (I think as contract employees) part of some kind of labor union or is their an active effort to organize them into a bargaining unit?

Like this comment
Posted by ROScontinued
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 13, 2010 at 9:47 pm


the Foundation doctors are not hired by the hospital. They are hired by the medical foundation, which affiliates with the hospital. It allows them group access to negotiate better insurance contracts, electronic medical record systems, supply purchasing and so on. Those that don't want to join, don't have to. Or, they can at another point in time. But it's the "cake and eat it too" syndrome. PPA docs want to keep things as they are, and not let anyone else have access to this either. They might want to read the Weekly, the world is changing.

Like this comment
Posted by Indano
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 16, 2010 at 2:09 pm

Just more bullies. Question: how many bullies ARE there in Berkeley?
Maybe their address makes them think they are high IQ bullies therefore carry more clout.

Makes me think of that black lawyer up near Sacramento who is wheelchair bound (can't remember his name. Guess I despise him too much to care) who hires people to go out and find small non-ADA compliance businesses and then sues them. End of story? These small business people go out of business as they can't afford the bully demands of this guy and/or court costs.

May he sleep well at night.

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