Legislation Needed To Extend Seismic Safety Deadline
A Riverside Press-Enterprise editorial opposing two bills that would extend the deadline for meeting state seismic safety standards "acknowledged the financial challenges hospitals face in meeting these requirements but argued that it is premature to consider extending" compliance deadlines, Sen. Dave Cox (R-Roseville) and C. Duane Dauner, president of the California Hospital Association, write in a Press-Enterprise opinion piece.
According to Cox and Dauner, "hundreds of hospitals face the very real prospect of being shut down, unless the Legislature approves a more rational approach to meeting" the 2008 or 2013 compliance deadlines.
SB 167, by Sen. Jackie Speier (D-San Mateo), would require the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development to re-evaluate hospitals using a new modeling technique to determine seismic risk. The deadline would be extended for hospitals that are not at high risk.
SB 1661, by Cox, would extend the compliance deadline until 2015 for hospitals that have begun retrofits but will not complete them by 2013.
Both bills "would help hospitals stay open to provide health care services by giving them a much-needed reprieve from impossible deadlines," Cox and Dauner write (Cox/Dauner, Riverside Press-Enterprise, 5/1).