Alta Bates Summit Medical Center Considers Service, Job Cuts
Facing at least a $40 million loss this year, Alta Bates Summit Medical Center is considering some "drastic cost-cutting measures," including the consolidation of services, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. To reduce costs, a consulting firm has recommended that the center eliminate all of its psychiatric beds at its Herrick campus in Berkeley unless reimbursement rates increase. Other recommendations include "concentrating" oncology, maternity and infant services at the Alta Bates Hospital in Berkeley, and moving orthopedics, medical surgery, cardiology and cardiovascular surgery to the Summit campus in Oakland. The Chronicle also reports that Alta Bates Summit has already planned job cuts; to date, the center has eliminated a "limited" number of jobs and offered "early retirement packages" to some workers. The recommendations for cutbacks, however, are preliminary, and the hospital board does not expect a decision "soon." Hospital spokesperson Carolyn Kemp said, "We are not about to flip the switch on anything." Despite the proposal for cutbacks, the center's long-term expansion plan, including the remodeling and upgrade of its emergency room, is proceeding as planned (Colliver, San Francisco Chronicle, 9/6).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.