ENCINITAS: San Luis Rey Hospital Prepares to Close
San Luis Rey Hospital, the only psychiatric center in North County that treats adolescents, announced Monday that it will not accept patients after this week, and may close as early as Christmas, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. Heather MacDonald, a spokesperson for Behavior Health Care Corp., which owns San Luis Rey, said that the hospital will continue to accept emergency patients, but after Friday, no new patients will be accepted. Hospital officials declined to detail why the 123-bed hospital failed, but said the dissolution is "due to local market financial pressures." San Luis Rey has been in the market for a buyer for months. In October, it appeared that Scottsdale, AZ-based Campus Health Care Group would purchase the facility. But as "community unhappiness" about losing the hospital grew, Campus pulled out of the deal. Shortly thereafter, Silverado Senior Living of Aliso Viejo began negotiations to purchase the facility and convert it to an assisted living facility. Silverado President Loren Shook said of the deal, "We are proceeding. ...We've filed the necessary paperwork with the city." Christy Guerin, an Encinitas City councilmember, argued that the city shouldn't be "pitting seniors' needs against vital services for kids," and said, "[M]ental health care for teens is vitally needed when this nation faces a crisis in teen-age suicide. ... I'm disappointed (Silverado) hasn't taken into account the community sentiment on this" (Fong/Daniels, 12/15).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.