LOS MEDANOS: Contra Costa County May Lease Hospital
"Los Medanos Community Hospital moved a step closer to reopening Thursday when a federal bankruptcy court judge tentatively approved plans to lease it to" Contra Costa County. The Contra Costa Times reports that Judge Edward Jellen said he agreed with the hospital district's decision to let the county run the Pittsburgh-based "long-vacant medical facility," but he also "gave other parties in the case a week to register their objections to the deal" (Coetsee, 4/3). "If you have a reason to change my mind, I'm all ears," the judge said. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Jellen's decision regarding "the proposed 20-year lease by the county sets the stage for the possible final scene of a drama that has dragged on since the 101-bed hospital closed four years ago." Jellen also ruled that the "bankrupt publicly funded hospital" could sell the medical equipment it had been keeping in hopes of reopening as a full-service facility.
Phoenix, Rising From The Ashes?
The Chronicle reports that the deal with the county "still faces challenges from the Phoenix Group, which includes 18 doctors and investors who made the losing bid for the hospital" (Hytha, 4/3). According to Phoenix members, "they could run the place more efficiently than a government agency." But the group was unable to prove to the judge that it "had the money to make good on its offer." If the county wins the bid, the hospital district then must come up with a plan detailing how it will pay back the hospital's debts (Contra Costa Times, 4/3).