REDWOOD CITY: CHW Clinic Closure Leaves Patients in the Lurch
Sequoia Medical Center's failure to inform its 18,000 patients of its April 30 closure has left the Redwood City facility "swamped with angry Sequoia patients" who showed up to find their doctors had gone into private practice, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. However, Ken Steele, vice president of managed care at Catholic Healthcare West, which owns the medical center, described the effects of the closure as "transparent." He explained that patients may still see the same doctors as long as they choose to go into private practice. During its five years of operation, the center had bled millions of dollars due to patients' switching to lower-paying HMOs and was "poorly managed," according to Sheryl Greenspan, who was hired to assess CHW's pediatric unit. "My guess is that [employees] wanted it to fail," she concluded. Patients covered by county health insurance must hunt down doctors who accept their plan (Fernandez, 5/14).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.