SONOMA COUNTY: Valley Hospital’s Fate Up In Air
A consultant hired to advise Sonoma Valley Hospital's strategic planning advisory council about what to do with the ailing facility said it should "immediately seek affiliation with some corporate partner whose 'deep pockets' could help it stay afloat." The Santa Rosa Press-Democrat reports that another consultant said the district should foot the bill for bringing the facility into compliance with state laws on seismic standards, which could cost anywhere from $16 million to $49 million. After hearing the proposals, the advisory council voted unanimously to pass on the recommendations to the Sonoma Valley Health Care District's board of directors. The Press-Democrat reports that the district board, "the last elected board running a public hospital in Sonoma County, will take up the issues at its monthly meeting next Wednesday." Cain Brothers consultant Ken Jones explained that managed care competition and low Medicare reimbursements were two reasons the hospital was losing money. He said the facility could be out of business within three years if "current annual losses of more than $1 million continue unabated" (Lauer, 1/21).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.