Hospital CEOs Discuss Future of Safety Net Facilities
The CEOs of three hospitals in San Diego County said their hospitals face major expenses in the coming years because government reimbursement rates are inadequate and because the number of uninsured patients seeking care is too high, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. The executives -- from Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center, Scripps Mercy Hospital in Chula Vista and Paradise Valley Hospital in National City -- spoke at a forum on the future of health care that included business leaders, consumers and government officials.
According to the executives, the hospitals are not facing bankruptcy, but major expenses in the coming years -- including the cost of seismic retrofits --- will cost the hospitals hundreds of millions of dollars.
The hospital CEOs also said they were concerned about plans to move acute care services from the University of California-San Diego Medical Center's Hillcrest campus to the university's Thornton hospital in La Jolla. They said they are worried the move will further strain finances because more uninsured patients will seek care at their facilities.
The Hillcrest hospital's Physician-In-Chief Tom McAfee said that an expansion of the Thornton hospital will provide needed hospital beds and that the university will continue to make $40 million in technology and equipment purchases and other improvements at the Hillcrest facility (Clark, San Diego Union-Tribune, 8/4).