||This article appears to be written like an advertisement. (August 2010)|
|Number of locations||24 acute care hospitals|
|Area served||California, Hawaii|
|Key people||Pat Fry, President & CEO|
Sutter Health is a not-for-profit health system in Northern California, headquartered in Sacramento. It includes doctors, hospitals and other health care services in more than 100 Northern California cities and towns. Major service lines of Sutter Health-affiliated hospitals include cardiac care, women’s and children’s services, cancer care, orthopedics and advanced patient safety technology.
The organization takes its name from California pioneer John Sutter whose namesake fort was one of Sacramento’s original European settlements. In response to the influenza epidemic of 1918, community leaders constructed the first Sutter Hospital in the vicinity of the fort, replacing an old adobe house that had previously served as a makeshift hospital. Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento occupies this site today.
Other Sutter Health-affiliated hospitals date back to the 1800s and were some of Northern California’s earliest health care providers. For example, California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco was formed out of successive hospital and medical school mergers dating back to the city’s earliest days of organized medicine. In 1866, the predecessor of today’s Sutter Medical Center of Santa Rosa opened its doors to residents of Sonoma County.
Many of the health care facilities that eventually became part of the Sutter Health network were created as charitable hospitals by community members in cities coping with growing populations, epidemics, fires, floods and earthquakes.
Latter 20th century
Sutter Health was officially created in 1981 as a small Sacramento health care system. A few years earlier the organization had introduced a series of reforms in governance, communication and accountability in the wake of a late 1970s scandal involving William Miofsky, a physician who was charged with and pleaded no contest to felony charges of sexually abusing sedated Sutter hospital female patients.
Over the next 15 years, government cutbacks, the advent of managed care and other financial pressures fueled an increase in hospital and physician organization mergers, acquisitions and affiliations. By 1995 Sutter Health had grown to include 18 affiliated hospitals, seven medical foundations (physician organizations) and numerous outpatient care centers throughout Northern California.
Meanwhile, in the San Francisco Bay Area, another affiliation of hospitals was forming. By 1986, Pacific Presbyterian Medical Center in San Francisco, Mills-Peninsula Hospital in San Mateo and Marin General Hospital in Greenbrae had created an affiliation known as California Healthcare System (CHS). Berkeley-based Alta Bates Corporation (now known as Alta Bates Summit Medical Center) joined CHS in 1992, the same year that saw the creation of California Pacific Medical Center, formed through a merger of Pacific Presbyterian and Children's Hospital of San Francisco.
In January 1996, Sutter Health and California Healthcare System merged.
The new century brought advances in health care technology and Sutter Health was among the first health systems in the United States to install bar code medication safety technology and an electronic intensive care unit.
In 2004, 13 Sutter Health hospitals were among 25 statewide dropped by the California Public Employees Retirement System from one of its HMO networks because of cost-related concerns.
Also in 2004 Sutter Health implemented a systemwide policy for charity care and health care discounts for uninsured and underinsured patients. In 2006 Sutter Health expanded its policy to offer automatic discounts to uninsured patients. Later it, along with several other health systems, reached settlement agreements in class-action lawsuits related to the billing of uninsured patients.
The Sutter Health Network currently consists of eight physician foundations, 24 acute care hospitals, cancer centers, a regional home health and hospice organization, long-term care centers, a university and research institutes.
In 2009, Sutter Health’s facilities and services were internally organized into five geographic regions.
Sutter Health Central Valley Region
- Memorial Hospital Los Banos
- Memorial Medical Center
- Sutter Gould Medical Foundation
- Sutter Tracy Community Hospital
Sutter Health East Bay Region
- Alta Bates Summit Medical Center
- Eden Medical Center (remains a separate corporation due to District requirements)
- Sutter Delta Medical Center
- Sutter East Bay Medical Foundation
Sutter Health Peninsula Coastal Region
- Mills-Peninsula Health Services
- Palo Alto Medical Foundation
- Sutter Maternity and Surgery Center of Santa Cruz
Sutter Health Sacramento Sierra Region
- Sutter Amador Hospital
- Sutter Auburn Faith Hospital
- Sutter Davis Hospital
- Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento
- Sutter Medical Foundation
- Sutter Physicians Alliance
- Sutter North Medical Group
- Sutter Medical Group
- Sutter Roseville Medical Center
- Sutter Solano Medical Center
- Sutter Surgical Hospital North Valley
Sutter Health West Bay Region
- California Pacific Medical Center
- Novato Community Hospital
- Sutter Pacific Medical Foundation
- Sutter Lakeside Hospital
- Sutter Medical Center of Santa Rosa (subject to County requirements)
Affiliated provider organizations not aligned with a region because of locations or other considerations
- Kahi Mohala, a behavioral health care system, 'Ewa Beach, Hawaii
- Sutter Coast Hospital, Crescent City
- Sutter Care at Home, Northern California-wide
On June 30, 2010 Marin General Hospital, Greenbrae transitioned from the Sutter Health network to the Marin Healthcare District. The billing center has been moved to Utah.
Sutter Health doctors and hospitals provide a variety of clinical services including cancer care, children's health (only pediatric emergency room in San Francisco); complementary medicine, diabetes care, heart care, home health/hospice, mental health care, orthopedics, pregnancy and childbirth, sleep disorders, transplant services and weight loss surgery (bariatrics).
Sutter Health also operates outpatient surgery centers in 13 communities and three retail-based Sutter Express Care health clinics in the greater Sacramento region.
Sutter Health doctors and hospitals participate in voluntary and mandatory programs that publicly report patient satisfaction, cost, utilization and quality of care measures. These include Hospital Compare, California Healthcare Foundation, California Office of the Patient Advocate (OPA), and The Leapfrog Group.
Sutter Health affiliated hospitals and medical groups, have been recognized by a number of independent health care quality organizations. For example:
- 2009, the Lewin Group ranked Sutter Health the top health care system in California for quality.
- 2009, SDI Health, the health care research firm formerly named Verispan, ranked Sutter Health fifth among the "Top 100" integrated health care networks in the United States.
- 2008, The Leapfrog Group ranked two Sutter Health-affiliated hospitals to its “Top Hospitals” list.
- 2008, the Integrated Healthcare Association recognized several Sutter Health affiliates for accomplishments in areas of clinical care including heart care, preventive care, chronic care management, pneumonia, patient satisfaction and use of information technology.
- 2007, the Adaptive Business Leaders (ABL) Organization named Sutter Health’s eICU as most innovative approach to health care delivery.
Individual performance measures for Sutter Health hospitals and affiliated medical groups are posted on the Sutter Health Web site.
Sutter is the price leader in the health care market in California and has successfully cut costs and raised profits providing a market opportunity for other for-profit and non-profit California providers to increase their prices and profits.
Sutter Health’s physician organizations, hospitals, home health and other services have nearly 60 locally-negotiated collective bargaining agreements with more than one dozen different labor unions. Approximately 13,700 employees have elected to work under labor union contracts. Sutter Health and its affiliates employ a total of approximately 48,000 people.
In November 2012 over 3,000 nurses went on strike. 
- California Pacific Medical Center Women Pioneers in San Francisco Medicine, San Francisco Medical Society. SFMS.org
- California’s Closed Hospitals, Nicholas C. Petris Center on Health Care Markets And Consumer Welfare University Of California, Berkeley School Of Public Health AG.ca.gov
- Remote intensive care that's more intensive, US News and World Report. Health.usnews.com
- CalPERS gets OK to drop hospitals, Oakland Tribune. Findarticles.com
- Sutter Health settles class-action lawsuit, Oakland Tribune. Findarticles.com
- California Pacific inaugurates $3.7 million ER for kids, San Francisco Business Times. Bizjournals.com
- The Lewin Group Analysis of Performance of Systems with More than Four Hospitals on Quality and Patient Satisfaction Measures: Q1 2007 thru Q4 2007, The Lewin Group. Lewin.com
- Sutter Health and UC Davis recognized for integration, San Francisco Business Times. Sanfrancisco.bizjournals.com
- Alta Bates, CPMC and Stanford hop on Leapfrog's list, San Francisco Business Times. Sanfrancisco.bizjournals.com
- Integrated Healthcare Association (IHA) Announces Pay for Performance Program Results and Award Winners, Integrated Healthcare Association. IHA.org
- Innovations in HealthcareSM 11th Annual Awards Event, Adaptive Business Leaders. ABL.org
- Innovations in Healthcare 11th Annual Awards Event, Adaptive Business Leaders. Video: ABL.org
- "As Hospital Prices Soar, a Single Stitch Tops $500" Part 5 in a series on health care costs in the United States by Elisabeth Rosenthal in The New York Times December 2, 2013