Regional Health Care Market Studies Identify Emerging California Trends

New San Francisco Bay Area and Fresno Market Reports Available

Media Advisory
Dec. 10, 2012

Alwyn Cassil (202) 264-3484 or

WASHINGTON, DC—New market studies of the San Francisco and Fresno areas conducted by the Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC) offer a stark contrast—particularly in preparations for health reform—between one of the most affluent and poorest regions of the state.

Funded by the California HealthCare Foundation (CHCF) and based on interviews with local health care leaders in 2011-12, the regional market studies assess how the organization, financing and delivery of health care are changing across the state. A previous round of California site studies funded by CHCF was conducted by HSC researchers in 2008.

San Francisco Bay Area: Health Care Providers Shift Allegiances as Regional Networks Emerge

Health care providers in the San Francisco Bay Area weathered the economic downturn better than providers in most other areas of California, in large part because the downturn was less severe in the Bay Area. Still, a number of market trends and expected effects of health reform have pressured providers, leading to significant organizational change in the provider sector since the region was last studied in 2008. Key developments include:

The San Francisco report is available at

Fresno: Health Providers Expand Capacity, but Health Reform Preparation Lags

The Fresno region remains one of the poorest areas in California, and the economic downturn has driven Medi-Cal enrollment and uninsurance rates even higher. The population has continued to grow, although at a slower pace than during the early 2000s. These factors have strained already inadequate provider capacity, particularly of physicians. Key developments since the last study was conducted in 2008 include:

The Fresno report is available at

CHCF published market studies of Sacramento and Riverside/San Bernardino in September, and regional market studies of Los Angeles and San Diego will be published in the coming months.

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The Center for Studying Health System Change is a nonpartisan policy research organization committed to providing objective and timely research on the nation’s changing health system to help inform policy makers and contribute to better health care policy. HSC, based in Washington, D.C., is affiliated with Mathematica Policy Research.