Stanford University Medical Center Makes Changes To Emergency Department in Preparation for Closure of San Jose Medical Center
Stanford University Medical Center officials on Thursday announced that the facility will hire additional staff members, add additional beds to their emergency department and reconfigure boundaries for its ambulance service area following the closure in December of HCA Healthcare's San Jose Medical Center, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The changes are intended to help Stanford accommodate an expected annual increase of 800 trauma patients from SJMC (Gaura, San Francisco Chronicle, 11/12).
In September, HCA announced that it would close SJMC by Dec. 9. HCA officials made the decision in part because higher costs have resulted from lower Medicare and Medi-Cal reimbursements, new state seismic retrofit regulations and new state nurse-to-patient ratio rules implemented in January (California Healthline, 9/29).
David Spain, chief of trauma and critical care surgery at Stanford, said the hospital will increase emergency department staff and radiology services at night. In addition, beginning in the spring, the hospital's 28-bed ED will expand by about 25% to accommodate more children, Spain said (Feder Ostrov, San Jose Mercury News , 11/11).
Under the plan, Stanford would accept trauma patients from southern San Mateo County; northern Santa Clara County; and from Santa Cruz, San Benito and Monterey counties, the Chronicle reports. Spain said the new boundaries typically would send patients injured in San Jose and southern Santa Clara County to Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, the other remaining trauma center in Santa Clara County.
Spain added that the details of the plan are not finalized (San Francisco Chronicle, 11/12).
In related news, businessman Anthony DeFeo this week said he is no longer interested in buying SJMC and converting it into a hospital catering to American Indians, the San Jose Mercury News reports. DeFeo said he had "too much to do right now" and that he's "backing out of it."
Jim Walker, a Yucca Valley hospital compliance consultant who had worked with DeFeo on the deal, said he is assembling a group of investors to purchase the facility and that a meeting for investors is scheduled for Monday. In addition, Walker said the Confederated Tribes of the Goshute Reservation in Utah remains interested in purchasing SJMC.
The Mercury News reports that although Walker and the Goshute tribe are "in discussions" with HCA, "prospects for the deal's success are murky."
HCA said it would not sell SJMC to be used as a full-service hospital because it would compete with HCA's other hospitals in the area.
San Jose cardiologist Ngai Nguyen said he also is interested in purchasing the hospital and using it as a cardiac specialty hospital (Feder Ostrov, San Jose Mercury News , 11/11).