VENTURA COUNTY: Hospital Will Close Skilled Nursing Unit
Community Memorial Hospital is closing "its skilled nursing facility to make room for a burgeoning maternity business," the Ventura County Star reports. Hospital administrator Michael Bakst explained that the hospital is losing money on the department, which provides rehabilitative care to 11 patients. Those patients, five of whom need long term care services, will be moved to other nursing facilities in the area. Bakst added, "All residents will be moved to other facilities of their choosing ... ." Several factors weighed in on the decision to "get out of the skilled nursing business," Bakst said, noting that the ward was losing up to $500,000 a year because of Medicare reimbursement changes. Further, the "closure of Ojai Valley Community Hospital's maternity ward and a growing number of Medi-Cal patients delivering babies at Community have increased the need for more maternity beds." Bakst said, "We are now the largest maternity hospital in Ventura County and our current OB-GYN units couldn't handle the projected number of deliveries" (Koehler, 3/21).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.