Questions and Answers About LVMC's Acquisition of Sansum's Lompoc Clinic

Lompoc Valley

On November 13th, at 6 pm Jim Raggio, CEO will discuss the planned acquisition of the Sansum Clinic Lompoc practice and answer questions about the transition of services and staff. In preparation for the event, we have provided answers to frequently asked questions.

Question: When will the change from Sansum to Lompoc Valley Medical Center (LVMC) take place?

 The tentative plan is to finish the transition in early January 2019

Question: When LVMC acquires the Lompoc Sansum Clinic, can I keep seeing my Sansum physician?

Yes, almost all the physicians and physician assistants who were practicing at Sansum in Lompoc will remain. Dr. Richard Onishi and Dr. Sharon Kim had already made plans to relocate out of the area.

Question: Do I need to find a new Primary Care Physician?

We are transitioning the Sansum physicians and employees to LVMC. You will not need to change as long as the physician remains with LVMC.

Question: What Physicians and Physician Assistants from Sansum are staying with LVMC?

We will have a full list of providers as of Nov. 1. Currently, Dr. Onishi and Dr. Kim are the only physicians who have indicated they are moving out of the area.

Question: Can I see the Specialist that has been treating me at Santa Barbara Sansum?

Yes, you may still access your specialist provider.

Question: Will there be as much physician turnover with LVMC as there was at Sansum?

No. We have already recruited two new Primary Care Physicians and are recruiting more for urgent care and pediatrics. Our main goal is to increase access by providing a stable group of quality physicians.

Question: What is happening to the staff currently working at Sansum in Lompoc?

All the staff have been offered jobs, will be employees of LVMC and remain working at the clinic.  The acquisition of Sansum by LVMC will allow at least 45 jobs to remain in Lompoc.

Question: If I switch from an HMO to PPO, will my primary physician in Lompoc refer me to a specialist in Santa Barbara?

Regardless of insurance, physicians will be able to refer to local specialists or Sansum/SB specialists.

Question: Will LVMC use the same facility Sansum has been using in Lompoc?

Yes, that facility will remain open, as will access to LVMC Physician Services. We plan to open urgent care seven days a week when providers are hired.

Question: What if I already have an appointment scheduled with a Sansum doctor after the change in ownership?

Patient records and appointments will not be changed. We will migrate patient demographics, appointments and last patient visits to the new computer system. The Sansum computer system will be available to all physicians for historical records.

Question: Explain what insurance will be accepted at Sansum. If you don’t have a contract with my insurance company, can I still go to Sansum? For example, will LVMC accept the Aetna Federal HMO used by penitentiary retirees?

All current Sansum insurance contracts will be accepted, even the HMO products. We plan to work with Sansum to keep the HMO products in Lompoc. Patients can keep their current insurance and will not see a change other than being able to access all local healthcare services.

Question: How will the change affect the AARP Medicare Advantage group – will AARP be leaving the area or just changing from Sansum to the hospital?

There will be no change.  AARP Advantage will continue to be available in Lompoc.

Question: Will there be an Urgent Care, and when and where?

We plan to open Urgent Care 7 days a week when we have adequate staff. We are currently recruiting clinical staff for Urgent Care.

Question: Will we still have to go to Santa Barbara for tests and procedures?

No, you will have access to all local services, unless you prefer going to Santa Barbara.  For example, you will be able to schedule CT scans, MRIs, Mammograms, Colonoscopy and other services provided locally.

Question: Can I still use Cottage Hospital?

Yes, Cottage Hospital will still be available for medical procedures.

Question: Will my computerized records on MyChart be compatible with LVMC’s system? If not, will they be archived for my use? Will the facilities eventually be on the same system?

We will migrate patient demographics, insurance, appointments, medications, allergies and last patient visit summary to the new computer system. Sansum’s computer system, called EPIC, will continue to be available to all physicians to access your past medical history. You will continue to have access to your Sansum medical record, through MyChart, after the transition.

Question: Is this a financially risky move for LVMC? Will taxpayers have to pay more for this? Does this endanger LVMC’s future following the financial loss at the Champion Center?

Not at all. LVMC is in the best financial position in its history. Health services currently required by Sansum out of town will now be provided in Lompoc, providing additional revenue to the district.

Question: Does this create a medical monopoly for LVMC?

No, there are still three other healthcare providers doing business in Lompoc. LVMC and Sansum are working collaboratively to ensure access to care for Lompoc Valley residents and plan to continue to work together to maintain availability of current insurance products.

Question: Why do you have to buy the Sansum building? Why not move everything to the Champion Center?

We evaluated this but the Champion Center would require extensive remodeling.  LVMC has plans to use other areas of the Champion Center for our growing healthcare needs. We have already transitioned our Counseling Center to the building and continue to operate the District Laundry Department at the Champion Center.  We are also in discussions with other agencies to use a portion of the building to assist with the shortage of mental services in our community.


If you have further questions we invite you to attend our Community Forum on November 13th at 6:00 pm in the Lompoc Valley Medical Center Ocean's Seven Cafe.

About the Author

Author: Nora Wallace, Public Relations

Nora Wallace was hired as LVMC’s Public Relations Coordinator in October 2014. She previously was employed as a newspaper reporter for 25 years at the Santa Barbara News-Press, primarily covering North County news. At LVMC, Nora is also responsible for the management of the Blue Coat hospital volunteers. She is a graduate of Santa Barbara City College and earned a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in journalism from San Francisco State University.

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