EDGEMOOR GERIATRIC: Experts Will Study Options
The San Diego County Board of Supervisors approved a plan Tuesday that "would authorize a team of financial specialists to examine options for dealing" with Edgemoor Geriatric Hospital's "crumbling facilities," the San Diego Daily Transcript reports. One option under consideration is a $54 million plan to rebuild the facility where it currently stands in East County. The hospital currently serves "200 special-need indigent patients who have been refused care elsewhere."
While a final decision on the hospital's future is not expected for six months, yesterday's vote was viewed as a preliminary "victory for those who support reconstruction of the hospital over other options such as leasing another facility or dispersing the Edgemoor patients to other health care facilities in the county." Rev. Glenn Allison, chair of the Edgemoor Foundation, which is trying to raise money to build a new hospital, said, "What the board really wants to know is if the private sector is willing to get behind this. I think they are. Giving us a unanimous vote was very refreshing" (Gallagher, 3/4).
Both the head of the Health and Human Services Department and the county's chief administrative officer are "pushing for the board to consider leasing other facilities to treat Edgemoor's patient population, saying that rebuilding the hospital on the existing site would prove too expensive." The facility is "essentially the last of the safety nets for uninsured patients needing intensive, long-term care." In order to qualify for care at the facility -- which "has won recognition in both the state and the nation for the quality of care" -- patients must have been turned down "by at least 10 different facilities 25 times each" (Gallagher, San Diego Daily Transcript, 3/3). Health and Human Services Director Bob Ross said, "Will anyone else ever agree to care for these patients? The answer to that is probable. The health care market in San Diego has changed, and we think the private sector and hospitals will be more open to us for receiving these patients." However, others expressed doubt that alternate facilities would accept Edgemoor patients, since the patients have to be turned down by several other facilities before being admitted at Edgemoor (Daily Transcript, 3/4).