Community Medical Centers in Fresno Receives Continued Lease of Hospital
Community Medical Centers won unanimous approval from the Fresno County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday to continue operating county-owned University Medical Center's hospital and clinics for the next five years, the Fresno Bee reports. Community will pay up to $13 million to extend its lease of UMC's site -- which was scheduled to expire October 2004 -- a smaller amount than what Community currently pays the county to use the hospital. Under the old contract, Community would have been required to pay the county about $5 million this fiscal year; under the new contract, Community will pay $4.5 million. In years following the rent will decrease to $2 million. County officials said the extension of the lease ensures that the Fresno community will receive adequate medical services while Community builds a new 58-acre hospital complex. The new lease requires Community to continue providing medical services for jail inmates and low-income residents. Fresno County will pay the hospital an annual fee for 30 years to provide care to those patients who cannot pay -- this year the county's indigent bill was $16.9 million, the Bee reports. Bart Bohn, the county administrator, said that extending the lease "absolutely has not had a detrimental side to the county." Community CEO Philip Hinton said that the amount of time that Community will need to use UMC's facilities depends on how quickly the new downtown complex can be built. If Community wants to extend or renew it lease past Dec. 31, 2008, it must inform the county by Jan. 1, 2005 (Anderson, Fresno Bee, 10/15).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.