Stanford Health Care takes over ValleyCare

New signs go up after final documents signed

Stanford Health Care's acquisition of ValleyCare Health System was completed Monday with new signs identifying the new owner now in place, including at the medical center in Pleasanton.

"The transaction with Stanford is now complete," said John Sensiba, chairman of the ValleyCare board. "We closed (Monday) as scheduled and the new signs are uncovered on the Pleasanton campus."

The merger, which puts Stanford Health Care in charge, ends a year-long effort by the governing board of directors of ValleyCare to find a partner as the health system plunged deeper into debt.

The merger agreement, approved by California Attorney General Kamala Harris last month and Monday by Stanford and ValleyCare boards, requires that the Pleasanton-based health system must continue providing medical services here for at least five more years, including its 24-hour emergency medical operation and most other services now available.

The day-to-day operations of the new Stanford Health Care will be led by Scott Gregerson, President, who had previously served as president & CEO of ValleyCare Health System. Gregerson will report to Amir Dan Rubin, president and CEO, Stanford Health Care.

"While our new signage is one of the more visible indicators of the change already underway at the new Stanford Health Care — ValleyCare, there is so much more to come," Gregerson said.

He added: "For more than half a century, ValleyCare has ensured that Tri-Valley residents have had access to quality care. This new partnership with Stanford Health Care, which enjoyed the tremendous support of our community, clinicians and staff, will enhance those efforts by bringing truly preeminent care to the Tri-Valley.

"ValleyCare is a great hospital and is now poised to be far better than it has ever been. I would be remiss if I didn't thank the employees and physicians for their unyielding efforts to serve this community during a challenging time and we are awed by the potential this partnership will bring."

"We are looking forward to serving the region with distinction for at least another 50 years and we hope our friends and neighbors will join us at our Medical Center in Pleasanton on June 9 from 4-6 p.m. as we celebrate our new partnership."

As part of the merger agreement, Stanford will provide a capital commitment of $50 million during the first three years and will be co-obligated on, or guarantee, VCHS's $85 million revenue bonds in order to resolve the current bond covenant compliance issues.

Although ValleyCare will remain in existence as a nonprofit, public benefit corporation, it will operate as a subsidiary of Stanford. It's new name is Stanford Health Care, with "ValleyCare" in smaller letter below.

Stanford Health Care will take control of the ValleyCare board of directors by creating a new board that will have 11 directors, consisting of three Class A directors who will be chosen by ValleyCare's current board from among its current members, and eight Class B directors. As vacancies occur, the Class A directors will select replacement directors, whose appointment will be subject to approval by Stanford.

Class B directors will be selected by Stanford from a slate of candidates submitted by a nominating committee appointed by Stanford.

The agreement also gives the Charitable Foundation an oversight responsibility to protect the community's interests by monitoring Stanford's satisfaction of certain commitments under the Affiliation Agreement for a period of five years. The amended governing documents of the Charitable Foundation will give members the opportunity to elect the Charitable Foundation's board of directors from among nominees approved by the new VCHS Board.

For its part, Stanford will provide fundraising expertise and a charitable contribution of $3 million to the foundation. VCHS will continue to provide meeting space necessary for the foundation to carry on its fundraising functions. The sole purpose of the foundation going forward will be to support VCHS and further the charitable purposes it serves.

It's expected that the ValleyCare Medical Foundation, a separate nonprofit corporation that contracts with ValleyCare Physician Associates to provide medical services in the foundation's clinics., will eventually be folded into Stanford's Bay Area physician network.

Stanford leadership also will assist and provide support to ValleyCare and its medical staff in clinical care currently offered at the ValleyCare hospital and medical facilities in Pleasanton and Livermore as well as support the development and operation of a broad geographic network of health care providers and facilities in collaboration with Stanford Health Care and the Stanford University and its School of Medicine.

This effort will further the charitable, scientific and educational purposes of the university as well as develop, sponsor and advance services and programs that address the physical and mental needs of the community at large.

An analysis of ValleyCare's service area, which was reported in the attorney general's letter of approval documents, shows the hospital's market share in in Pleasanton and Livermore at 40%, in the mid-30 percent range in Dublin, and then mostly in the single digit range for patients from other Tri-Valley cities. The exception is a 19.5% market share in unincorporated Sunol.

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Like this comment
Posted by John
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 20, 2015 at 1:38 pm

Very much a business-oriented story. Little to nothing on how this transition may affect regular patients at ValleyCare...

17 people like this
Posted by Linda
a resident of Ridgeview Commons
on May 20, 2015 at 7:46 pm

I couldn't disagree more to the above comment. I'm sorry that they experienced this situation. I spent 6 weeks at Valley Care in 2013. I had the best nurses, who only spoke English, around the clock. If I forgot to call up to order my dinner the kitchen called me. My meals were always hot, my meds and shots were always on time..

2 people like this
Posted by Will Stanford help fix poor service at ValleyCare Nursing, Livermore?
a resident of Livermore
on May 21, 2015 at 10:03 am

Apparently PW DELETED my question,
about the really bad service at the former Livermore,
now including a "Skilled Nursing Facility" instead on the third floor, including details in 2014.

Linda's response to my question remains:
She was saying she did not have a similar bad experience in 2013,
with un-caring med techs who speak little English,
mgmt who did not care much about the patients,
and poor food made in another building (or town?) and delivered cold.
So maybe it's a recent thing?

Many of those med techs apparently have better credentials in the Philipines, that are not recognized in the US, and act resentful that they are assigned tasks that they consider below them.

Better Management?
Several medical people are hoping the Stanford mgmt will take better care of the workers, and more accountability, resulting in better care for the patients.

Q. How likely is that?

I'd really hoped to hear from knowledgeable people.
Let's have a discussion, not censorship.

14 people like this
Posted by Health Care Affiliate
a resident of Ruby Hill
on May 22, 2015 at 9:25 pm

Valleycare employees are very excited to embrace the changes. We are so proud to be a part of the Stanford Health Care system! Good things to come for this community! Stanford is going to enhance what Valleycare initiated. Stanford is at the top of the game in research, treating cancer, providing excellent patient care, and early diagnosis. Morale at Stanford-Valleycare is at an ALL TIME HIGH for the first time in forever! Thank you Scott! Thank You John S! Thanx to all of you guys! Yes! Yes! Yes! We Did It!!

Like this comment
Posted by Travis
a resident of Birdland
on May 24, 2015 at 6:56 am

I don't understand how they fell into hard times, I figured VC was flourishing the way they bilked people.My father in n law was a vet, but an emergency fall during the night landed him in VC. He was fine the next day but ended up staying there for 11 days due to tests and observations. He felt he was in prison and was very bitter they wouldn't release him. We inadvertently saw the $330,000 billed meant for the VA administration since he was a Navy vet. That my friends is a bilking. They didn't operate on him or otherwise repair him. I hope Stanford has better ethics.

Like this comment
Posted by Hospital Worker
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 25, 2015 at 3:13 pm

I find it quite interesting that the Mertes-Feit Education center in Livermore has had a recent name change. It is now the Mertes Education Center. Will we ever find out what happened? It must be something pretty substantial to just be disgraced like that.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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