San Jose Medical Center May Remain Open
HCA-The Healthcare Co. announced Tuesday that it is "revisiting" its 1998 decision to close San Jose Medical Center and shift the hospital's emergency room and other patient care services to Regional Medical Center by 2006, the San Jose Mercury News reports. HCA, which owns both hospitals, decided to close San Jose Medical Center when the hospital was losing money and required "significant" seismic upgrades. However, both facilities are improving financially, and HCA officials anticipate that state lawmakers will "ease" the "strict" seismic safety requirements for hospitals. HCA spokesperson Leslie Kelsay said, "Assumptions that were made two years ago need to be revisited. That doesn't mean they won't remain the same, but we should test them again." Kelsay "cautioned" that the discussions over the medical center's status are still "preliminary," and the hospital may still close as planned. A coalition of 65 San Jose community organizations has fought to keep the medical center open, saying the facility provides a "critically important service downtown." Kelsay noted, "If you have a hospital that is operating well and provides a clearly valued service in the community, there are advantages to preserving it" (Feder, San Jose Mercury News, 3/8).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.