Proposal To Transfer Natividad Medical Center’s Clinics to Monterey County Unveiled
The Monterey County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday heard a proposal to turn over Natividad Medical Center's primary care clinics to the county Health Department that would save $1 million per year, the Monterey County Herald reports (Livernois, Monterey County Herald, 3/24). Two months ago, the Board of Supervisors began considering several options for the "financially troubled" county-owned medical center in Salinas, including closing it and selling it to another provider. Financial analysts expect the hospital to report a profit this fiscal year after a series of cost-cutting measures, but they say that increasing operating costs could result in an $8.8 million budget deficit in the next fiscal year (California Healthline, 1/9). Transferring ownership of the clinics, which could be implemented as early as July, would result in an "unknown number" of job losses, Len Foster, the county's health director, said, according to the Herald. However, he added, "The only change will be in the administration," not in physicians or nursing staff. The board took no action on the proposal but asked health department and hospital officials to continue their discussions. Yvonne Martinez, a representative for Service Employees International Union Local 817, said the proposal is "consistent with solid fiscal responsibility," but she added that SEIU officials want to be involved in any future discussions (Monterey County Herald, 3/24).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.