SAN DIEGO: Seismic Standards Force Mission Bay Closure
Mission Bay Hospital officials announced last week that the facility will close its doors on Jan. 24, making it the fourth acute-care hospital in the area to close in about four years, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. Officials attributed the closure to "declining insurance rates, too few patients and the building's location on the Rose Canyon fault." Christopher Holder, senior vice president of Dallas-based Triad Hospitals Inc., which owns Mission Bay Hospital, said according to California seismic regulations, the hospital would have to be rebuilt away from the Rose Canyon fault. Plans to build another hospital in Carmel Valley were also dropped because hospital officials said the regulations were "so demanding" that it would have taken five years to meet requirements. Mission Bay CEO Deborah Brehe added, "We've been losing money for several years. We have one of the lowest reimbursement rates from managed care and from government in the nation, and we continue to suffer from declining market share." The hospital closure announcement comes "just a few weeks" after Family Health Network, including 500 doctors, dropped its contract with Mission Bay, instead signing with Scripps. The closure means San Diego County will lose one of its emergency rooms and about 120 beds, which could have a "a major impact," according Gary Stephany of the Healthcare Association of San Diego and Imperial Counties. "Emergency rooms around the county are full, and every time you close another one it hurts," he said (Clark, San Diego Union-Tribune, 10/17).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.