Stanford University Hospital Pulls Sponsorship from Coastal Clinic, Citing Financial Losses
Stanford University Hospital officials last week informed 39 staff members at the Stanford Coastal Medical Clinic, the only facility of its kind between Pacifica and Santa Cruz, that it intends to "end the hospital's sponsorship" of the clinic on Aug. 31, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The Half Moon Bay-based facility, which Stanford took over from a private physician in 1994, provides pediatric, obstetric, gynecological, geriatric and family practice care to about 25,000 patients each year. According to Stanford medical officials, the clinic has been losing money since Stanford took over operations, and pulling out would save Stanford $900,000. The Chronicle reports that the clinic has become Stanford's "latest target" as the hospital "grappl[es] with huge losses from its failed merger with UCSF Medical Center." Yesterday, about 75 residents from several Peninsula coastal towns gathered at a Half Moon Bay senior center with clinic doctors to discuss keeping the clinic open. Dr. Lorraine Paige, who has worked at the clinic for 10 years, said Stanford's decision is "far reaching and dangerous since the clinic is essential to the welfare of the coastal community." But Paige added that the clinic's staff "would prefer to return the clinic to private operation" -- a move that could cost between $600,000 and $750,000 in the first few months. Speaking by telephone, Assembly member Joe Simitan (D-Palo Alto) said there is "little" lawmakers can do to "officially" to keep the facility open, but added that he would "lobby" Stanford President John Hennessey and Stanford Medical Center Vice President Dr. Eugene Bauer to begin discussions with the clinic's doctors to "ease the transition" (Workman, San Francisco Chronicle, 6/1).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.