UC Davis leaves Western Health Advantage network

UC Davis Health System is withdrawing from Western Health Advantage’s primary care network.

University of California Board of Regents’ Health Services Committee approved UC Davis’ proposed membership withdrawal from WHA on June 21. UC Davis co-owned the health plan with Dignity Health and NorthBay Healthcare. The three organizations founded WHA in 1996.

Shortly after, UC Davis fully withdrew from the partnership, requiring 23,000 of WHA’s 120,000 members to either find a new provider or a new health plan by the end of the year.

UC Davis and WHA were in disagreement over WHA’s reimbursement rates. Under WHA’s per-member-per-month structure, UC Davis argued they were taking on too much financial risk. As a regional, non-profit HMO, WHA strives to offer more affordable plans.

Ultimately, UC Davis and WHA were unable to come up with a solution.

In a press release, UC Davis officials said

After months of analysis, UC Davis Health concluded that due to the uncertainty in today’s health care environment, continuing the WHA relationship as it has existed was not fiscally prudent. Unfortunately, WHA leadership and UC Davis Health were unable to come to agreement on a strategy to address these concerns in a way that would allow us to continue to provide primary care services to other employer groups.

UC Davis and WHA continue negotiations over whether UC Davis will continue to include WHA as an insurance option to its employees. About 21,000 US Davis employees and dependents are insured through WHA. In a statement, UC Davis said it expects no impact on UC Davis employees who are insured through WHA and have a UC Davis Health PCP.

Meanwhile, CalPERS has added WHA as a new HMO choice for members.