Plan to Close Mount Diablo Obstetrics Unit Raises Concerns
Community leaders are concerned that a cost-cutting proposal that would shift obstetrics and pediatric services from the Concord-based Mount Diablo Medical Center to its corporate partner, John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek, will "shrink the only hospital in Contra Costa's largest city into little more than an outpatient clinic," the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Last week, the John Muir/Mount Diablo Health System's strategic planning committee suggested eliminating obstetric and pediatric services at Mount Diablo to stave off operating losses that totaled $20 million last year. If the hospital system's board approves the plan, the move will take effect June 30. The committee suggested the cuts because Mount Diablo's "costly obstetrics unit," which delivers roughly 800 babies per year compared with 3,000 delivered at John Muir, has been losing money for years, the Chronicle reports. But critics worry that the plan "portends the beginning of the end for Mount Diablo." Concord City Council member Bill McManigal said, "If this happens, Mount Diablo could eventually become an outpatient clinic" (Garfoli, San Francisco Chronicle, 5/15). McManigal said the Concord city attorney is looking for a "legal avenue to oppose" the move (Krishnan, Contra Costa Times, 5/15). The health system's board is holding a special meeting today at the Concord City Hall to "channel the outrage" over the plan (San Francisco Chronicle, 5/15).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.