Nurses Group Fighting Sutter’s Plan To Close San Leandro Hospital
The California Nurses Association is backing a lawsuit filed by Eden Township Healthcare District in an attempt to prevent Sutter Health from closing San Leandro Hospital, the Los Angeles Daily Journal reports.
In 2007, the Eden Township Healthcare District's board entered a deal to transfer San Leandro Hospital to Sutter to close the facility. However, newly elected board members refused to hand over the hospital, prompting Sutter to file a lawsuit.
The board then filed a countersuit to halt the transfer, claiming that the original decision to transfer San Leandro Hospital to Sutter involved a conflict of interest.
Contention Over Closure
CNA has argued that Sutter is closing San Leandro Hospital to direct wealthier, insured patients to the Sutter-owned Eden Medical Center while treating fewer Medicare and uninsured patients.
Alameda County health officials also have expressed concern that the hospital's closure would force local residents to drive further and wait longer for emergency department services at other area hospitals.
However, Sutter claims that it cannot afford to keep San Leandro Hospital open as it works to revamp Eden Medical Center to meet seismic safety standards. Analysts say that San Leandro HospitalÂ loses about $5.5 million each year.
Questions Over Excess Revenue
CNA and other advocates also have questioned Sutter's claims that it cannot afford to keep San Leandro Hospital open.
According to financial statements, Sutter Health had excess revenue totaling $463 million last year, partly from additional revenue generated by Eden Medical Center.
State officials currently do not monitor excess revenue or take revenue totals into account when a hospital system seeks to close an underperforming hospital.Sutter officials have said it would not make sense to use the health system's excess income to keep San Leandro Hospital open (George, Los Angeles Daily Journal, 4/6). 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.