Contra Costa County’s Board of Supervisors passed two new financial measures Tuesday providing last-minute help to embattled Doctors Medical Center (DMC) in San Pablo.
The county voted to delay the hospital’s $3 million property tax payment. If DMC can come up with enough to sustain itself for the next three years, the board will permanently waive $9 million in future repayments.
“What the county’s doing today is, it’s not committing 100 percent,” said Contra Costa County Supervisor John Gioia, “it’s saying these other pieces have to fall into place. If this comes together, we’re in.” Continue reading
(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a bill giving $3 million to financially troubled Doctors Medical Center in western Contra Costa County. The hospital has been in danger of closing for weeks.
SB883 appropriates the money from the state’s Major Risk Medical Insurance Fund to the West Contra Costa Healthcare District, which oversees Doctors Medical Center. It is considered “bridge funding,” according to a release from Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley), an author of the bill, so that the hospital and health care district have time to identify more secure funding.
“Doctors Medical Center is the safety net hospital for Richmond, San Pablo and other West Contra County communities. Its closure would leave a community in need without emergency care, cardio, dialysis and other critical hospital services,” Skinner said in a statement.
(Bay City News) A federal judge in San Francisco today heard arguments Wednesday for — and against — court intervention that would force financially embattled Doctors Medical Center in San Pablo to restore recently cut emergency services.
The U.S. District Court hearing came amid an ongoing fight to keep the hospital open. Officials have reduced services and shed more than 80 staff members there after multiple failed attempts to cover the hospital’s $18 million deficit.
Earlier this month, the hospital stopped accepting emergency ambulances, closed its heart attack intervention unit and reduced its number of inpatient beds to 50. Emergency ambulances that would normally go to DMC are now re-routed to other area hospitals.
A group of doctors, nurses and community advocates filed a lawsuit in federal court on Aug. 12 against Contra Costa County, each member of the Board of Supervisors and West Contra Costa County Healthcare District and district board chairman Eric Zell. Continue reading
Photo: Doctors Medical Center
by Alexandra Garreton, Jon Brooks, and Bay City News
Contra Costa County officials say they’re doing their best to keep the largest hospital in west Contra Costa County from going under. And that means cutting patient services.
This month Doctors Medical Center in San Pablo stopped accepting ambulances and reduced the number of in-patient beds to 50. County Health Services officials said last week that the 22 to 24 emergency ambulance patients normally seen at DMC each day — including three to four considered to be in critical condition — are now being diverted to other area hospitals.
Last fall, Doctor’s Medical Center announced a fiscal emergency and planned closure of the hospital. In recent months, at least 88 doctors, nurses and other hospital staffers have left, according to DMC spokesman Chuck Finney.
The hospital plans to cut more beds and close their cardiac unit in September.