SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY: Last Suitor Withdraws Health Partnership Proposal
Catholic Healthcare West and the UC-Davis Medical Center withdrew their combined partnership proposal yesterday, putting to rest San Joaquin County Health Care Services' quest for a private partner to provide health care to the region's poorest patients. After narrowly voting to pursue a public-private partnership in 1997, the San Joaquin Board of Supervisors saw one suitor after another pull away from the negotiating table. The Modesto Bee reports that the groups were unable to hash out an agreement on several "county demands" just "weeks before the Board of Supervisors was supposed to consider an alliance with the two agencies." The suitors took issue with the board's desire to "retain overall control" of the $164 million a year county agency and its flagship facility, San Joaquin General Hospital. "We've wasted a lot of money," said Supervisor Dario Marenco, who opposed the partnership. "This made no sense from the start." Board Chair Robert Cabral said, "I think we all had a little bit of a clue that [CHW] wasn't all that sure what was on the table and how they fit into it." CHW President Edward Shroeder wrote in a letter to the county, "This is not an easy decision for several reasons, not the least of which is that we still firmly believe it is in the best interests of all of our organizations to work together" (Miller, 3/4).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.