LOS MEDANOS HOSPITAL: Board Analyses Options For Reopening
"Faced with two different proposals for reopening bankrupt Los Medanos Community Hospital, the hospital district's board made a last-ditch effort Monday to take advantage of both, the Contra Costa Times reports. The facility "closed in April 1994 amid a sea of red ink" after a "string of bad investments, declining government reimbursement for Medicare and Medi-Cal services, and fewer patients led to bankruptcy." The county has offered to lease the hospital at $100,000 a year for 20 years. But Phoenix Medical Facilities Group "wants to buy the facility outright and offer a 24-hour urgent-care clinic, outpatient surgery and related surgical-type services."
Wait Just A Minute...
The Contra Costa Times reports that "[m]ost hospital board members said they were ready to vote Monday on the latest proposals, and it looked like the county was the front-runner." This sentiment was based upon the board's preference of a lease to a purchase, and the fact that Phoenix's investors would not identify themselves. It was later disclosed, however, that many of the Phoenix investors were former Los Medanos doctors. After hearing from Phoenix officials on Monday, "Board President Al Prince ... said he was intrigued by new information from Phoenix, and that the three parties should at least talk to each other." The possibility of a joint public-private venture has been raised because "a joint venture could serve more patients in more ways than either individual proposal." The board voted to meet with both parties to discuss possible options, and then to reconvene on February 23, when "they expect to make a final decision." However, the Contra Costa Times reports that "[a]ny deal will need approval from the bankruptcy judge" (Richards, 2/11).