MOUNT ZION: Wins Three-Week Reprieve
Facing mounting "community pressure," the UCSF Stanford Health Care board Friday postponed for three weeks a decision on "whether to close emergency and inpatient services" at Mount Zion hospital. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that in deciding to postpone the decision, the board "agreed that [Friday's] lengthy public hearing raised issues that need to be analyzed." Board Chair Isaac Stein said, "This was an extremely useful day for the board, and it gave us some issues to think about that we want to explore further." He noted that the board had originally expected to take some action Friday on closing some of Mount Zion's services, "but reconsidered after three hours of emotional testimony and presentations for new alternatives by Mount Zion leaders, employees and patients." Calling the delay on a final decision "significant," he said, "We wanted to make sure that we had thoroughly explored all alternatives before making a decision that obviously would be very critical." The Chronicle reports that at the hearing, many questioned whether estimates of losses Mount Zion was causing for the whole system were accurate and made "dire predictions of emergency room shortages and threats to academic programs." The UCSF Stanford board did get some good news Friday, as it heard that monthly losses for the system were $5 million in June, compared to $10 million in May (Schevitz, 7/24).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.