SAN FRANCISCO: Supervisors Take Sides in St. Luke-CPMC Battle
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors last week jumped into the fray in the ongoing antitrust lawsuit filed last month by St. Luke's Hospital against rival California Pacific Medical Center. Weighing in for St. Luke's, the board "unanimously passed a nonbinding resolution backing its antitrust suit." Although St. Luke's has long asserted that it provides more charity care than its competitors and has been dealt "a serious blow" by CPMC's contract with Brown & Toland, the hospital now has data from the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development to bolster its claim. In 1996, the last year charity care data was available, St. Luke's funneled $3.3 million into charity care, or 2.2% of its total revenue of $148 million. By contrast, the San Francisco Chronicle reports, CPMC allocated $1.2 million to charity care, or "just two-tenths of 1% of its total revenues of $522 million." However, "it is St. Luke's fully insured patients, the 24% with HMO coverage, who are the subject of the antitrust suit," the Chronicle reports (Abate, 2/3).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.