Fresno Hospital Must Add 100 More Beds To Absorb Increased Patient Volume Resulting From Merger
Community Medical Centers in Fresno needs to add an additional 100 beds at its downtown hospital before it can absorb services from University Medical Center as part of a planned merger, a hospital official told the county Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, the Fresno Bee reports. An agreement between Fresno County and CMC calls for the relocation of services from the county hospital to a new $250 million campus built around CMC's downtown hospital. Fresno County pays CMC $17 million annually to manage UMC and provide medical service to county jail inmates and indigent patients.
CMC CEO J. Philip Hinton said CMC had not expected the increase in patient volume that it has experienced in recent years and must now maintain bed capacity as UMC and CMC merge. CMC officials said they plan to remodel the eighth and ninth floors of CMC's downtown facility to add beds and accommodate the combined patient volume of the two hospitals.
A report submitted to the board said the hospital would add the beds "as funds become available."
Maternity services have been relocated to CMC, and CMC is preparing to merge additional services. The critical-care building recently was completed, and CMC plans to move the burn and Level 1 trauma center there.
Hinton said a recent lease extension for the UMC building through 2008 will provide extra time for the move.
Rev. Walt Parry, head of the Local Health Care Coalition, said he is concerned that the burn and trauma center has not yet opened and has asked the county to create an independent task force to work with the hospital to hasten the opening. "It was only in the last two weeks that I heard that it cannot open until 100 more beds are added," Parry said. He suggested the task force also examine plans for an ambulatory care clinic at the downtown site (Correa, Fresno Bee, 11/3).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.