Dignity, Catholic Health Initiatives Ponder: Are We Better Together Or Apart?
The hospitals have researched the pros and cons, and now they must decide if the "net positive" of the partnership will win out in the end.
Dignity, CHI Would Gain Scale In Merger, But Debt Issues Loom
Six months before Dignity Health and Catholic Health Initiatives announced they were in merger talks, the two hospital giants each dispatched small work teams to probe whether a deal was desirable. What they found were complementary geographic footprints, hefty debt burdens and several very successful markets dragged down by a smattering of challenging ones. (Barkholz, 10/29)
In other hospital news —
East Bay Times:
Planned Closure Of Alta Bates Raises Concerns Of A Health Care Desert
The announcement earlier this year that Alta Bates Summit Medical Center would close its campus [in Berkeley, Calif.], possibly as early as 2018 but certainly by 2030, sent shock waves through the East Bay. Cities issued resolutions calling for the hospital to stay open, and “Save Our Hospital” signs popped up on lawns and in store windows. Coming just a year after Doctors Medical Center in San Pablo closed following a long struggle to stay solvent, Alta Bates’ plans to shutter has stoked fears that a large swath of the East Bay is turning into a health care desert that will result in delays in care for those facing life-threatening conditions and longer waits for inpatient procedures. (Ioffee, 10/30)
LA County May Let More Hospitals Detain Dangerous Psychiatric Patients
When someone with a mental health disorder arrives at a hospital emergency room and staff determine that he poses a danger to himself or others, they can detain him for a 72-hour crisis intervention - but only if the facility has an in-house psychiatric unit that's designated to treat such patients. On Tuesday, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors will consider setting up a pilot program that would change that policy at at one hospital. The County Department of Mental Health is proposing the experiment at south L.A.'s Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital, which doesn't have a mental health unit. Since MLK's ER staff don't have the authority to detain psychiatric patients, they have to wait for one of the county's Psychiatric Mobile Response Teams to collect a patient deemed dangerous and transport him to a county or private psychiatric facility. (Plevin, 10/31)
FDA Faults 12 Hospitals For Failing To Disclose Injuries, Deaths Linked To Medical Devices
Federal regulators said 12 U.S. hospitals, including well-known medical centers in Los Angeles, Boston and New York, failed to promptly report patient deaths or injuries linked to medical devices. The Food and Drug Administration publicly disclosed the violations in inspection reports this week amid growing scrutiny of its ability to identify device-related dangers and protect patients from harm. (Terhune, 10/28)