Medical Center Plans Transfer of Acute Care Beds
UC-San Diego Medical Center officials on Monday announced plans to increase the number of emergency department beds at the facility as part of a renovation project intended to relocate all existing acute care beds, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
UCSD officials proposed relocating acute care beds to the university's Thornton Hospital in La Jolla because the Hillcrest facility does not meet state seismic safety requirements. UCSD officials say renovations or building a new facility is cost prohibitive.
The plan calls for the transfer of 150 beds from Hillcrest to Thornton in 2014 and the remainder in 2030.
Officials plan to maintain ED services at the Hillcrest campus without a surgical backup or an intensive care unit, but state law prohibits free-standing EDs. The Legislature last year did not approve a measure that would have permitted such facilities.
Richard Liekweg, CEO of UCSD Medical Center, said that the school would consider adding acute care beds to the Hillcrest campus if legislation permitting free-standing EDs is not approved. Liekweg said terminating ED services at Hillcrest "is not an option for us" (Clark, San Diego Union-Tribune, 12/12).