UCSF Requests Temporary Reopening of Mt. Zion’s Operating Rooms
Nearly one year after winning the "bitterly contested" fight to limit Mount Zion Medical Center to "all but daytime surgeries and clinics," the University of California-San Francisco is seeking state clearance to reopen some of Mt. Zion's operating rooms and 30 of its beds, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. UCSF fought to scale back services at Mt. Zion, including closing its emergency room last year, as the hospital was losing $4 million per month, compounding financial losses experienced through the failed UCSF-Stanford merger. UCSF now hopes to temporarily revive Mt. Zion's operating rooms as a "limited stopgap measure" to provide space for surgeons until a three- year, $18 million construction project to add four new operating rooms at the UCSF Medical Center at Parnassus Heights is completed. UCSF Medical Center CEO Mark Laret said, "I would not use the term reopening, because it might create the impression we are backtracking on our commitment to improve the financial performance of UCSF hospitals." One year ago, the Parnassus hospital was running "below capacity," but for a "host of reasons," volumes have picked up at the medical center, Laret said. In the past seven months, 360 patients referred to the Parnassus hospital were turned away for lack of operating room vacancies. UCSF will unveil its plan today at a UC regents meeting in Los Angeles and will "formally request" funding for the reopening at a January regents meeting. The annual cost of staffing Mt. Zion's reopened wing will cost an estimated $3 million. In addition, if reinstated as an acute-care facility, Mt. Zion will require an additional $4 million to meet the state's seismic retrofitting standards. If the reopening is approved, Mt. Zion's operating rooms would be limited to less complex procedures that do not require an intensive care unit on site. Patients requiring intensive care would be transferred to the Parnassus facility (Russell, San Francisco Chronicle, 11/15).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.