Former Molina Healthcare CEO takes over California medical group

A network of community medical clinics in California, formerly known as the Molina Medical Group, began operating today under a new name—but with a familiar face at the helm.

The primary care clinics are now part of the Golden Shore Medical Group, which is owned and operated by J. Mario Molina, M.D., formerly the CEO and chairman of Molina Healthcare, a California-based insurer, according to an announcement.

The new medical group serves approximately 120,000 patients and operates 17 clinics in four California counties: Los Angeles, Riverside, Sacramento and San Bernardino.

Previously, the clinics were controlled by Molina Medical Management, a subsidiary of Molina Healthcare. The insurer's board of directors fired J. Mario Molina and his brother John Molina, who was the CFO, in the spring of 2017, citing the company's disappointing financial performance.

When Molina Healthcare decided to get out of the business of running clinics, J. Mario Molina decided to exercise his right to purchase the assets of 17 of those clinics that are based in California, he previously told FierceHealthcare. By doing so, he aims to continue the legacy of his father C. David Molina, M.D., who founded Molina Healthcare in 1980 to care for underserved patients.

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"With the acquisition of these clinics and the launch of the Golden Shore network, we are continuing a commitment to community healthcare access, unbroken for nearly 40 years," J. Mario Molina said in the announcement.

While the name has changed, patient services will remain the same, according to the announcement. Nearly 300 employees of Molina Healthcare left their positions to accept similar positions with Golden Shore, the group said.

Arguing that the Trump administration wasn’t doing enough to promote the Affordable Care Act enrollment period, J. Mario Molina was also among those who launched a group last fall called Get America Covered, which aims to help people looking to enroll in health coverage on the exchanges. Molina also resigned from Molina Healthcare’s board of directors earlier this month.

The Molina brothers' former employer, meanwhile, has experienced heavy financial losses. As part of its restructuring effort, Molina Healthcare cut some 1,400 jobs in 2017.