Several San Fernando Valley Hospitals Post Profits After ‘Tough Years,’ But One-Third Still Face Deficits
Several San Fernando Valley hospitals have "started to get well financially" after some "tough years," but about one-third of the area's hospitals still face fiscal problems, the Los Angeles Daily News reports. Some area hospitals that have begun to improve their fiscal outlook appear below.
Los Robles Regional Medical Center: Location has allowed the Conejo Valley hospital to become the "main provider" for the area, which resulted in a $22 million profit in 2000.
Mission Community Hospital: The hospital pulled itself out of bankruptcy, which the facility entered in 1995, by "concentrating on a niche" of low-income residents, patients with "primary needs" and individuals with behavioral problems. As a result, officials said that the hospital posted $700,000 in profit in 2000.
Northridge Hospital Medical Center: After $15 million in losses in 1998 and $9 million in 1999, the hospital began "digging out" with improved insurer contracts and "an emphasis on customer satisfaction." In 2000, the hospital posted a $9 million profit.
Valley Presbyterian Hospital: In 2000, Valley Presbyterian increased services to low-income patients, who comprise more than 25% of the facility's patients, and qualified to receive reimbursement for care from the state. As a result, the hospital posted a profit in 2000 after a $3.3 million loss in FY 1999.
- Verdugo Hills Hospital: The hospital posted a $1.5 million loss in 2000, an improvement from a $5.5 million loss in FY 1999.
Despite financial improvements at some San Fernando Valley hospitals, about one-third face deficits, according to quarterly financial reports filed with the state. The Daily News reports that the area's hospital industry suffers from the "continued pressures" of low reimbursement rates from private insurers and the government, high labor costs and a large uninsured population. Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital in Santa Clarita declared bankruptcy in 2001. In addition, Simi Valley Hospital lost between $6 million and $11 million. The Daily News reports that area hospitals will "continue facing pressures ... on the bottom line." Area hospitals, for example, must implement seismic upgrades by 2008. "I don't see anything on the horizon that hospitals should get too terribly excited about their future," Jim Lott, executive vice president of the Healthcare Association of Southern California, said (Mascaro, Los Angeles Daily News, 2/18).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.