Health Net Inc. and John Muir Health have formed an accountable care organization to serve Health Net policyholders in three counties east of San Francisco.

An accountable care organization is an entity that ties together hospitals, primary care doctors, specialists, labs and even pharmacies to reduce redundancies and save money through an integrated approach to health care. Muir is a non-profit health care organization based in Walnut Creek with 950 doctors and two hospitals, while Woodland Hills-based Health Net will supply the patients.

“Health Net and John Muir Health will work collaboratively to build new efficiencies aimed at reducing the cost of care while maintaining access to quality care and decreasing the upward pressure on insurance premiums,” said Chris Ellertson, regional health plan officer for Health Net, in a statement.

Shares of Health Net closed down 87 cents, or 1.7 percent, to $51.13 on the New York Stock Exchange.


Salem Communications Corp. has expanded its “The Answer” marketing strategy to seven more of its radio stations.

The Camarillo company, which owns radio stations and publishing operations targeting the Christian and conservative audiences, debuted the strategy at its New York City station in 2012. “The Answer” concept reminds listeners that talk radio can provide answers to common questions.

The strategy is already in place at KRLA-AM (870) in Los Angeles and 12 other stations. The new stations to adopt it are in San Diego, Seattle, Colorado Springs, Atlanta, Tampa, Louisville and Sarasota, Fla.

Shares of Salem closed down 5 cents, or less than 1 percent, to $7.46 on the Nasdaq.