SONOMA COUNTY: Healdsburg City Helps Nonprofit Group Buy Hospital
The Healdsburg City Council yesterday voted unanimously to issue $7 million in bonds to a nonprofit group wishing to purchase Healdsburg General Hospital from Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp. Dr. Dan Rose, president of the nonprofit Nuestro Hospital Inc., said "the city's participation is crucial to keeping" the financially troubled Healdsburg Hospital open. The Santa Rosa Press Democrat reports that Nuestro "has a tentative agreement to buy" the hospital from Columbia, and plans to take over the facility "by the end of this month." The city's decision to sell bonds and give its tax-exempt status to the group will "dramatically cut" Nuestro's financing costs, Rose said. "This was one step that had to occur. It was really key to the acquisition," he said. City Manager Chet Wystepek assured the council that the hospital's "debt will be paid from hospital revenues" and that the city "won't have to repay bond holders even if the hospital fails." However, "Nuestro commissioned a study that found the hospital could be run at a profit," said Rose, who noted that "community supporters already have contributed almost $300,000 toward the project." According to Rose, the "$7 million will cover the purchase price and also renovations, expansion and new medical equipment." The Press Democrat reports that the hospital's "purchase amount ... has been estimated at $5 million to $6 million" (Heart, 10/6). Click Healdsburg to read past CHL coverage of the facility.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.