SUTTER HEALTH: Seeks Buyer For Long-Term Care Units
Sacramento-based Sutter Health has shut down its skilled nursing center at Berkeley's Alta Bates Medical Center and is negotiating to "sell off" four more centers near Sacramento, the San Francisco Business Times reports. Since January, Sutter "will have sold five of its 10 long-term care facilities outside hospitals" and closed one internal unit. The health care system is interested in selling the Sutter Oaks Alzheimer Center, Sutter Retirement Center and two nursing centers, all in Sacramento. It has "apparently entered" into negotiations with Paragon Health Network and others regarding the sales. Sutter, California's second largest hospital system, has been losing $3.4 million a year on its six Sacramento units, "despite a 90% occupancy rate." The company would not disclose the names of potential buyers. "Our expertise is in acute care facilities, not long-term care facilities," said Sutter spokesperson Nancy Turner. Without economies of scale, she added, the centers were a "financial drain." The moves "signal a strategic shift from the past few years." Instead of providing cradle-to-grave services popular a few years ago, said Peter Boland, of Boland Healthcare Inc., cash-strapped hospitals are letting go of "tangential services." He said, "They're making a series of shrewd business decisions" (Bole, 6/8).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.