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Cottage vs Sansum
updated: Feb 07, 2013, 1:15 PM

By Edhat Subscriber

So far as I can tell there are only two systems in Santa Barbara - Cottage and Sansum. Are they independent or the same system, just using different names? Cottage seems to have a more beautiful building. Other than that, are there any other differences? If you were helping your child pick a primary care physician in town, which hospital would you recommend?

Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 COMMENT 371912P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-07 01:22 PM

Sansum and Cottage are not the same. Cottage is the hospital. Sansum is an outpatient healthcare provider. They seem inter-connected but are not the same. I just asked the same question at Sansum last week. Example, I got foot surgery last week from a doctor I saw at Sansum - and the surgical center was a separate entity entirely (not Cottage, not Sansum). I'm sure you'll get more complete answers through this thread with people who know more...


 COMMENT 371921 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-07 01:42 PM

Sansum is an outpatient clinic. Cottage--Santa Barbara, Goleta, and Santa Ynez are hospitals. Your pediatrician might come from Sansum Clinic or an independent group. He or she might then have hospital privileges at Cottage should your child ever have the need for hospitalization. Santa Barbara Cottage hospital has neonatal/pediatric intensive care units & pediatric floor so it is most likely where your little one would be hospitalized (hopefully never). Lots of good kid docs in town--ask a respected friend. They may be part of Sansum or not.


 COMMENT 371922 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-07 01:47 PM

All major medical is done at Cottage, although I am not sure but I believe Cottage prides themselves in children care, unfortunately this situation also locks you out of choices in this area as to hospital choice. Cottage is a beautiful hospital, but also that is not the primary reason you will enter one, remember this.


 COMMENT 371923 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-07 01:51 PM

It's a monopoly.


 COMMENT 371931 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-07 02:17 PM

Sansum and Cottage are not technically the same entity but they do have an official affiliation.

What that means is that Sansum refers patients exclusively to Cottage (say you need planned surgery) and Cottage refers patients (say, for example, you go into ER and are released by follow up is recommended) to Sansum.

This is not unusual. But since we have a monopoly in town, there's no other local hospital that Sansum could be affiliated with.

You can actually find more information about the affiliation on Sansum and Cottage's own websites. And probably more accurate than you will get here.

As for your question about childrens' 'hospitals', Sansum is a clinic. They will refer you in house to specialists and they do have a pediatric section. But Cottage is a hospital and doesn't have pediatricians.


 COMMENT 371947P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-07 02:45 PM

Cottage hospital is new, therefore it looks good on the outside. I've heard that it is pretty fabulous inside too.


 COMMENT 371953P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-07 02:55 PM

The only "hospital situation" I would be familiar with is when the back of your gown is open as you walk down the hall past a group of handsome interns...


 COMMENT 371957 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-07 03:04 PM

There used to be another hospital in town but it closed years ago. Now Cottage is the only hospital, with branches in Goleta and Santa Ynez.

Some doctors have organized independent surgical centers, but they are specialized for specific types of work. For example, my husband had back surgery in one of them. Mos general and emergency work is performed at Cottage in Santa Barbara County.

I live in Carpinteria and treat with some doctors in Ventura, enabling me to also elect to use Community Memorial Hospital for some things, if I want to travel that far.


 COMMENT 371963 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-07 03:10 PM

Wow, if ever there was an example of misinformation it is here!. Sansum and Cottage are independent Corporations. Sansum is comprised of a Medical foundation which supports Sansum the multi-specialty clinic or amalgamation of Many Doctors and many specialties and sub-specialties. Cottage provides Hospital Services through its three Hospitals and some out-patient services also through its hospitals. Hospitals in California are precluded from directly employing Doctors (except in very specific cases) so instead Doctors voluntarily seek and are approved for privileges to practice ( as independent contractors) at the hospitals and many Sansum and independent doctors have privileges to practice at Cottage. Santa Barbara is blessed because both are very good at what they do and the area is blessed with high quality independent physicians who provide choice.


 COMMENT 371967 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-07 03:19 PM

963 Well said. Too bad your comment is not at the top of the list it would save the OP (and others) a lot of time reading through the less useful comments.


 COMMENT 371984 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-07 03:50 PM

963, I don't think anyone said they were the same corporation. They are affiliated, though.


 COMMENT 372000 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-07 04:20 PM

And Cottage does NOT refer you for follow up care to Sansum. Even if you are a Sansum patient. Cottage refers you back to Cottage.

Although the nice people at a cottage after discharge care location suggested we could save ourselves an out of network bill by going to Sansum instead.


 COMMENT 372014P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-07 05:08 PM

Feel better now that you've set us all straight 963? Do you work in the medical field?


 COMMENT 372062 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-07 08:26 PM

Monopoly is as monopoly does.

Cable TV. Medical care.
Trash hauling.

How is that all working out?


 COMMENT 372116 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-08 07:26 AM

Unless Cottage now has an actual Dr. at night in the critical care ward as it did not a few years ago- you had better go to St. Johns in Oxnard or even better- Santa Monica- they are SO nice, smart, respectful and thorough- which is sadly NOT how Cottage was in 2006.


 COMMENT 372139 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-08 07:58 AM

I traveled from Northern CA (I live near Stanford, and got a second opinion from their center also but opted against their factory-like system) ... to have my hip-replacement surgery in the Cottage Health System -- Santa Barbara is blessed with excellent medical care and those hospitals are truly top-notch.


 COMMENT 372149 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-08 08:16 AM

Cottage has good medical care but because it is a monopoly the cost is higher than it probably should be. The new wing at the downtown Cottage is like a Hilton Hotel, complete with valet parking, flat screen TV's etc. The Goleta Cottage is just winding up an new expansion. I will have to see what that holds for potential patients. I was impressed with the ER at Cottage Goleta when my son fractured his cheek at baseball practice on a Tuesday around 3:30 PM last year. He was seen, given and MRI and X-ray in less than an hour and even though it was after 4:30 the on duty ER physician made an appointment to have him seen over at Sansum (Peseta) by the maxo/facial reconstructive surgeon Dr. Lapatka before 5:00, so we hot dogged it over there. He saw my son diagnosed the fracture and scheduled an outpatient surgery at Cottage (downtown) for Friday to re-set the cheekbone. He reset the bone in the O/R in the new wing and my son went home that same Friday evening after the surgery.


 COMMENT 372161P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-08 08:39 AM

For information on our local and other hospitals check online at hospitalsafetyscore.org where grades are assigned based upon safety measures and standards.
Also, the Leapfrog Group has information. Hospitalcompare.hhs.gov has much data and the Consumer Report last July published its first ever hospital safety rating. It's interesting that Oxnard and Ventura score higher than Cottage in some aspects. Perhaps the new wing of Cottage Hospital will improve matters.


 COMMENT 372274 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-08 11:38 AM

Sansum used to be a world renound facility until the merger with the SB Medical Foundation. It now feels like a cattle call when you have to go in there. But, we don't have many choices here. I prefer old school doctors that practice to genuinely help people, not the ones that now get into the profession because of what kind of car they will be able to drive.


 COMMENT 372498P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-09 07:08 AM

2274: I agree about the cattle call-like atmosphere at Sansum. I went there for there for the first time last year. The doctor was very nice, apparently very competent; the staff I saw were very pleasant; but when I tried to find out ahead of time the costs of recommended procedures, I got the run-around and finally gave up on scheduling a recommended colonoscopy, for instance.

Unfortunately, billing is an integral part of medical care and I would like to find an independent doctor who accepts new patients and Medicare. Any suggestions?


 COMMENT 372706P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-09 07:04 PM

I noticed that AG Kamilla Harris had an ongoing investigation re Cottage's monopoly a month or so ago - haven't checked ca.gov recently.


 COMMENT 372950 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-10 04:11 PM

Goleta Valley definately!!! The nurses, administration, etc., does not operate like the big organization of Cottage. They are caring, compasionate, and do an outstanding job. I was there recently, and the woman in the bed next to me came all the way from Santa Maria - even though they have the brand new Marion Medical Center. That should say something. Too bad, Cottage downtown, is stripping all specialized procedures to their facility. I recommend Goleta at #1 in Santa Barbara/Goleta. St. Francis was great too - but long gone now. Glad someone is looking into the monopoly.


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