For over a year now, the MPTF Board and the Leadership Team have been discussing how we can continue to provide the highest quality of health care to our industry members in light of the many challenges we will be confronted with in the post-Affordable Care Act world. The entire structure of the health care industry in the United States is changing, and rapidly, and we want to make sure that MPTF and the entertainment community we serve are not left behind.
For 20 years, MPTF has been at the very top of the charts in terms of caring for our industry members in our health centers, in our ambulatory surgery center, and with our lab, radiology, and physical therapy services. But the rules of the game are changing: the goalposts are being narrowed, the field is being lengthened and widened, and (to continue the analogy) the ball is being greased.
In the course of our internal conversation, which was enhanced by the recent Healthcare Summit we held in May of this year, we reached a dramatic conclusion: our industry members would be better served in the long term if MPTF could join up with a larger and better-funded health care organization with a broader scope than ours, one that shared our strategic perspective and understood and shared the MPTF culture and, finally, one that had real credibility with our industry members.
Today, I’m pleased to be able to tell you that we’ve executed on that road map. The MPTF health system, including our 6 health centers, ambulatory surgery, GI lab, radiology, and lab, will be integrated with the UCLA Health System, described by U.S. News & World Report as “#1 in the West.” At this time, we have signed a Letter of Intent and still have a definitive agreement, board approvals, and four months of integration ahead of us, so the actual hand-off from MPTF to UCLA probably won’t take place until the middle of 2014. But we wanted you to know now where we’re headed. We hope you share our excitement.
It’s all good news: Our physicians will remain in place, employed by UCLA once the transition takes place, and they will be given the opportunity to join the faculty of the David Geffen School of Medicine. They will be there for you then as they are now. There’s no better group of primary-care doctors, and you know it, and so does UCLA. That’s one reason why they were so interested in this new arrangement.
Our health center staff will continue as well. They will become UCLA employees once the hand-off occurs and will now be connected with a wonderful academic medical institution and health system with ever-growing opportunities for personal and professional growth and development.
The health centers will stay in place as well – at least in the same general location as we were planning, even prior to the UCLA relationship, to relocate the Bob Hope Health Center to a more contemporary setting and the Jack Skirball Health Center to another spot either on The Wasserman campus in Woodland Hills or nearby. And all of this will continue to be EXCLUSIVE to our entertainment community!
The Industry Health Network, our narrow network of over 500 specialists and sub-specialists to whom you are referred for medical issues beyond primary care, will remain intact as well. Any fears that you will now only be able to see UCLA doctors should be tossed aside. As UCLA Health System expands its own reach in alignment with its public benefit mission, more UCLA specialists will join the Industry Health Network, and you will be able to see them. The same is true for hospitalization. If needed, you’ll be sent to the appropriate medical institution for your particular personal needs.
And none of this will have any impact on your benefits, which are provided by an industry health plan in many cases, or your employer in other cases. Premiums, deductibles, co-pays, annual physicals – no change.
Finally, we’re only talking about the MPTF health system. MPTF will continue to support our residential community (independent and assisted living for 175 senior industry members), our Long Term Care and Dementia Care units (70 industry members), our social service programs (including Elder Connection, Home Safety, and financial charitable assistance), our children’s center (Samuel Goldwyn Foundation Children’s Center in West Los Angeles), and many other programs.
The delivery of high-quality health care is gaining in complexity as the government works hard to control rising costs and manage a fee-for-service system that is simply not working today. This is the reality of health care today in this country. By joining with UCLA Health System, MPTF is future-proofing care delivery to our entertainment community in an innovative fashion. We can’t do it alone. But we can do it even better than we do it today by leveraging the rich and exciting resources of a great academic medical institution such as UCLA. We are so proud to be able to bring this new relationship to our patients, physicians, staff, and all of you.