SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY: Medical Dept. Deficit Due to Lack of Leadership
San Luis Obispo County's Medical Services Department needs leadership, accountability and long-term strategic planning to avoid a repeat of this year's $2.8 million budget shortfall, according to a new report from County Administrator David Edge. "Appointing a chief executive officer and a contract chief financial officer are the first steps to establish a managerial chain of authority and responsibility with the division. Until this is in place, we can have no confidence in the numbers generated by the division or that any effective expenditure controls are in place," Edge wrote. The San Luis Obispo Telegram-Tribune reports that Edge's report comes as the county's Board of Supervisors is set to decide whether to close General Hospital, which is operated by the department. Edge recommended against rushing to trim hospital services, but said "[r]egardless of what the board chooses to do with the hospital ... we need to spend some time getting a handle on the finances out there" (Hurly, 2/23).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.