Medical providers fear layoffs if Measure F passes, but union says it will promote transparency


Palo Alto Daily Post

October 7, 2018

Stanford Health Care leaders say that if the union-backed Measure F passes on Nov. 6, it could mean a $1 billion hit to the hospital’s $4 billion annual operating revenue — while SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West asks why a nonprofit hospital is sitting on $700 million in reserves.

The Palo Alto ballot measure would limit health care profits to 15% and would affect Stanford, Palo Alto Medical Foundation and smaller medical practices such as dentists and solo practitioner doctors.

The only medical practices that wouldn’t be affected are chronic dialysis clinics, children’s hospitals, free clinics, reproductive health clinics, VA facilities or facilities owned by a local or state government agency.

Providers would be required to issue a rebate or cost reduction on charges above 115% of the cost of direct patient care to those who pay for patient services.

In many cases, that means insurance companies would get rebates that they’re under no obligation to pass on to patients, meaning patient costs generally wouldn’t go down, according to Andy Coe, Stanford Health Care’s chief government and community relations officer.