Whether you drink too much in Wine Country, hit some rough waters off the Marin Headlands, or trip during a hike through the redwood forest, it's likely Sutter Health is just a stone's throw away. The Northern California, not-for-profit health care system is one of the nation's largest. After being formed more than a decade ago through the merger of Sutter Health and California Healthcare System, Sutter Health now caters to residents of more than 100 communities from the California Bay Area to the beaches of Hawaii. Its services are provided through affiliated doctors from a host of health care facilities, including two dozen acute care hospitals, home health networks, and skilled nursing facilities.
Sutter Health's governance is structured into five geographic regions throughout Northern California. Each region has its own physician organization board to oversee all of the Sutter-affiliated medical facilities and hospitals in that area. The current structure was put in place to replace the more than 50 existing hospital and physician organization boards that were previously in place throughout the network. The regional boards also charter community-based boards to focus on local matters such as quality and community benefits.
Sutter Health's revenues increased by 3% in 2011 thanks to the growth in patient services sales (85% of total sales). Its 2011 operating performance included $69 million of net supplemental payments associated with California's temporary program to obtain federal matching dollars to partially offset underpayments in previous years for the care of Medi-Cal patients.
Like most other health care organizations across the country, Sutter Health is using technology to keep its patients informed about their medical care. The company is part of a national group participating in a program called Care Everywhere, a technology that enables medical teams from separate hospitals and clinics to share a patient's medical records at the time he or she receives care. Through this technology, Sutter Health is linked with UC Davis Health System, Stanford, and Santa Cruz County Health Services to share vital patient information.
Sutter Health invested $898 million in capital in 2011 and expects to invest $5.4 billion in capital between 2012 and 2016. Much of the company's investment supports advances in patient care technology. In 2011 Sutter Health implemented an electronic health record system in five hospitals within the Central Valley and Peninsula Coastal regions. The system enhances patient care, linking doctors, hospitals, and patients throughout Northern California.
Sutter Health depends on philanthropy to keep some projects alive. It's currently using the $55 million it received in 2010 to help equip its facilities with more advanced technology; to increase OB-GYN services; fund research to help further disease prevention, diagnosis, and treatment; create innovative programs such as music therapy and outpatient pediatric diabetes clinics; and, construct new facilities to deliver advanced, efficient care to its thousands of patients. – less