Changes Are Coming to Regional Health Care Markets

Riverside/San Bernardino

Access to care continues to be a challenge as the vast Riverside/San Bernardino region recovers slowly from the economic downturn. The following are key findings:

1. Improved hospital financial performance – Many hospitals maintain bargaining clout on payment rates because health plans must ensure access in each of the region’s many sub-markets, some of which are underserved. This has helped maintain and even improve financial performance while hospitals struggle with a declining payer mix with people losing private health coverage.

2. Increased presence of Kaiser – Kaiser Permanente’s presence has expanded. Other providers (hospitals and physicians) view Kaiser as their biggest competitive threat.

3. Growing concerns about physician supply – The per capita physician supply in the region is low compared to other California markets. Some say that demand for physicians continues to outpace supply.

4. Growing efforts by hospitals to align with physicians – Although physicians remain largely independent, some are joining larger physician-owned organizations. Hospitals are seeking to align more closely with physicians to gain patient referrals and inpatient admissions and prepare for new payment arrangements under national health reform.

5. Increased pressures on safety nets – County-run safety net organizations face pressures to care for growing numbers of Medi-Cal and uninsured patients. Counties are trying to work more with federally qualified health centers and other private community clinics and health centers, especially as they prepare for health reform.

The San Bernardino/Riverside report is available at

Last Updated 05/25/2022

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