RIVERSIDE COUNTY: Forms Unique Partnership to Provide Elder Care
A unique public-private partnership in Riverside County could be "the ticket to financial salvation for struggling public hospitals across California," the Wall Street Journal/California Edition reports. Under a contract to provide elder-care for the county's underserved, a new $10.1 million elder-care campus is being constructed across the street from the Riverside County Regional Medical Center. The privately-run Integrated Care Communities will have a "synergistic relationship" with the hospital under which it "can send elderly residents to the hospital for surgery and X-rays, and the hospital can use the elder-care center as a learning environment for doctors in training." County officials hope this partnership will help "increase hospital revenue while keeping a lid on patient costs at the private campus," the Journal reports. The new facility will feature a "one-stop shop" approach: a 60-bed skilled nursing facility, a 60-bed assisted living complex, an adult day-care health program and an agency for home visits.
Carl Rowe, who will run the new center, said, "A county and a private, entrepreneurial company have joined forces to provide long term care for the coming demographic tidal wave of seniors. ... This will be an amazing kind of proving ground." Denise Martin, CEO of the California Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems, said, "This model is the harbinger of things to come. ... If we don't adopt private-sector, competitive strategies, we won't survive. And if we don't survive, access to health care for the uninsured will be seriously compromised" (Benson, 2/10).