ALAMEDA COUNTY: Supervisors Pledge Support for Public Hospitals, Clinics
Alameda County supervisors are vowing to keep public hospitals and clinics open despite numerous problems, the Alameda News Group reports. The county's Medical Center -- which includes Highland Hospital, Fairmont Hospital, John George Psychiatric Pavilion and five free-standing clinics -- has been plagued with operational woes. In addition to budget problems and industry competition, the health system also received poor marks on two state health inspections. The inspectors, who were conducting a "validation survey" for the federal government, cited "major deficiencies in documenting treatment and a lack of quality control" at the medical center. If corrective action is not taken, the system could lose $160 million in annual Medi-Cal and Medicare reimbursements. Noting that the center provides care to most of the county's uninsured, county Board of Supervisors President Wilma Chan said that "there is no way the board would allow it to close." Medical center CEO Mike Wall said, "We're addressing the issues. ... We have our focus 100% on fixing the deficiencies. ... This organization is going to put itself on the map for quality, financial performance and patient satisfaction." Wall anticipates spending $1 million-$2 million on training employees and hiring additional staff (Horowitz, 6/20).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.