CONTRA COSTA COUNTY: Commission Delays Vote on Hospital District
New concerns about costs and resources prompted the Local Agency Formation Commission Wednesday to postpone until August a vote on dissolving the troubled Los Medanos Community Healthcare District, the San Francisco Chronicle reports (7/13). A report from LAFCO Executive Officer Annamaria Perrella that recommended the agency approve a petition to dissolve the district. But, County Supervisor Joe Canciamilla requested more information, including the estimated cost of dissolution and a timeline for putting the questions before voters, before moving forward with the plan. In her report, Perrella indicated that the district's resources amount to "very little to run a viable health care district." Canciamilla also requested a survey of resources and costs for similar districts. The health care district went bankrupt and closed its Pittsburg hospital in 1994. The county currently is converting the building into a clinic under a 20-year lease (Cannon, Contra Costa Times, 7/13). No California hospital district has ever been dissolved, leaving commissioners to wrestle with the issue of who will take control of the hospital building if the dissolution proceeds (San Francisco Chronicle, 7/13). Pittsburg and the county are both vying for the responsibility of collecting taxes, paying bills, and taking title to the property. Perrella's report recommended a "split solution" that is "not likely to please Pittsburg officials." Pittsburg city officials requested that the issue be extended to August in order to devise a response to Perrella's report. Canciamilla hopes the commission will come to a decision at its August 9 meeting Contra Costa Times, 7/13).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.