SAN JOAQUIN: County To Select New Plan For Health System
At a county meeting tomorrow, "San Joaquin County supervisors are scheduled to pick one of three recommended strategies for the county's $164 million health care system," a move expected to fundamentally change the way health care is provided in the community. The Modesto Bee reports that the goal is to "maintain state-mandated services for the poor while keeping health system finances in the black." The supervisors face a choice between three alternatives, presented to them by the consulting firm of William Mercer Inc. of San Francisco: "[k]eeping the system largely as it is ... with some changes in keeping revenues up and expenses down; [e]ntering into a joint venture with another health care provider and running things as a team;" or "[l]easing all or part of the system to another health care provider, with the county ... doing little more than cutting checks."
Way To Go
Supervisor Ed Simas said he is leaning toward the "joint venture" option. He said, "All the hospitals are doing joint ventures. Which hospital is standing alone in the county? None." He said the only choice not being seriously considered by the supervisors is leasing all or part of the system. He said, "There's no member of the board who wants to give up governance totally." One of the main reasons is the "spanking-new" San Joaquin General Hospital, Simas said, noting the "hospital's in a very strategic location" (Miller, 1/25).