Lax Administrative Oversight at Alameda County Medical Center Results in Wasted Funds, Grand Jury Concludes
Alameda County Medical Center managers have improved patient care and financial performance, but inadequate administrative oversight has resulted in a "great waste of public funds," according to a report by the Alameda County Grand Jury, the Contra Costa Times reports. According to the county grand jury's final report of the 2003-2004 session, ACMC managers need to take "drastic steps" to reform their financial and administrative operations before they can take advantage of new funds from the Measure A sales tax, the Times reports (Ashley, Contra Costa Times, 7/7). Measure A, which voters approved in March, will increase the county's sales tax to 8.75%, the highest sales tax rate in the state. Three-fourths of the revenue from the increase would go to ACMC, which operates three public hospitals in Oakland and San Leandro and community clinics in Oakland, Hayward and Newark. The remaining 25% of the revenue would go to private health care providers that serve Medi-Cal beneficiaries and indigent patients (California Healthline, 3/4). According to the 60-page report, "If changes are not made in the way in which the medical center does business, this new source of revenue will be squandered, and conditions will rapidly deteriorate into a far worse crisis."
The county grand jury also recommended that county officials review all recommendations by Tennessee-based consulting firm Cambio Health Solutions, with which ACMC has entered into a $3.2 million, 18-month contract to operate the health network. The report stated that county officials should pay particular attention to recommendations that could result in increased compensation for the consultants. The grand jury also recommended that the ACMC organizational structure remain intact, despite the objections of some top county officials (Contra Costa Times, 7/7).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.