Community Medical Centers Launches First Preferred Patient Program in Fresno Area for Major Donors
Community Medical Centers is launching a program that gives some financial donors preferred customer services such as upgraded rooms and a special patient hotline, the Fresno Bee reports. Patients who qualify for the Friends of CMC program will receive a membership card that gives them access to private patient rooms -- if available -- at any of CMC's hospitals in Fresno and Clovis, as well as a 24-hour hotline to answer patient questions, concerns or requests regarding hospital stays. The contribution level required to participate in the program has yet to be determined, although some donors already have been issued cards, according to John Zelezny, senior vice president of corporate communications at CMC. He said that medical treatment of participants will be the same as that provided to all patients at the hospitals. Hospital officials say the program is being introduced in part to reward major donors and to encourage them to maintain their financial support of the not-for-profit system. Last year, CMC reported an $8.6 million operating loss, and the system is expecting to post a loss of $3.7 million this year. Kathleen O'Connor, owner of health care marketing and strategy company O'Connor Health Care Communications in Seattle, said the new program at CMC is "a real sign of the times." She added, "Everybody is having to find all sorts of ways to fix their bottom line." The "Friends of CMC" program is the first such preferred patient program in the Fresno area, according to the Bee (Correa, Fresno Bee, 5/14).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.