Berkeley Outpatient Center to discuss accepting campus health insurance

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The Berkeley Outpatient Center, a joint health facility from UCSF Health and John Muir Health that provides primary and preventive care, will meet in the next week to discuss whether the facility will accept UC Berkeley’s Student Health Insurance Plan, or SHIP, according to John Muir Health spokesperson Ben Drew.

The outpatient center, which opened in June, accepts most major health insurance plans, including Medi-Cal, California’s Medicaid program, and may soon also offer care to SHIP recipients. According to the center’s press release, patients of all ages have access to services from the “world’s leading experts” in 17 specialties, such as cardiology, neurology and gynecology, in addition to primary, preventive and urgent care.

“At the Berkeley Outpatient Center, patients have convenient access to high quality primary and urgent care when they need it.” Drew said in an email. “Patients can see John Muir Health and UCSF Health specialists without having to cross the Bay Bridge or go through the Caldecott Tunnel.”

UCSF Health — which includes UCSF Medical Center, one of the top hospitals nationwide, according to U.S. News & World Report — and John Muir Health, a not-for-profit health care organization, collaborated to create the center. Located at 3100 San Pablo Ave., the outpatient center is the first joint health care project of its kind in the Bay Area, serving Berkeley, Oakland, Emeryville and surrounding areas.

The two health care organizations announced their affiliation agreement in 2014, according to Drew. The outpatient center represents an expansion of their ongoing collaborations, including BayHealth Development, which develops outpatient initiatives, and Canopy Health, a network of more than 5,000 doctors in the Bay Area.

“Having primary care and specialist physicians in one location enhances collaboration, knowledge sharing and care coordination,” said Caroline Schreiber, the center’s medical director, in a press release from when the center opened in June. “Patients receive the best possible care and expertise from UCSF Health and John Muir Health.”

The Berkeley Outpatient Center’s services are available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays, with urgent care and imaging also available on weekends from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Although the center does not provide emergency care, the community will have access to physicians in Berkeley amid the expected closure of Alta Bates Summit Health Medical Center, the city’s only emergency care hospital. Sutter Health, which owns Alta Bates, plans to move most services to its Oakland hospital, which would leave communities without emergency care services from Richmond to Downtown Oakland.

“Having primary care and specialty physicians in one location allows for better collaboration between physicians to jointly manage a patient’s care,” Drew said in an email. “For patients, this represents the best of both worlds.”

Contact Alyssa Bernardino at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @alybernardino.