Contra Costa Times: New proposal to save West Contra Costa hospital to be unveiled Tuesday

blogimage.jpgSAN PABLO -- The head of the board that governs Doctors Medical Center is expected to unveil a proposal to keep the struggling hospital afloat for five more years as a full-service facility at Tuesday's West Contra Costa Healthcare District meeting.

The meeting begins at 4:30 p.m. at the hospital auditorium, 2000 Vale Road. "At the meeting, I will outline the shared sacrifice and contribution that will be required from the private sector, DMC employees, government, other area hospitals and WCCHD property taxpayers," board President Eric Zell Zell wrote in a statement in advance of the meeting.

In addition, a stakeholders group that has been exploring options for DMC will provide a final report on the financial sustainability of a full-service hospital and alternative models -- chiefly an advanced urgent care facility or satellite emergency department.

Interim Chief Executive Officer Dawn Gideon is also expected to give a financial report about the hospital. Previously, the administration has reported that the hospital has enough cash on hand to stay open as is through February.

DMC is facing closure because of an $18 million annual deficit that is largely the result of a payer mix heavily tilted toward Medicare and Medi-Cal patients, which pay lower reimbursement rates than private insurers. Before cutbacks this summer, it handled nearly 60 percent of West Contra Costa's emergency ambulance traffic and represented about 80 percent of the region's inpatient capacity, according to a 2011 report commissioned by Contra Costa Health Services.

Reposted from Contra Costa Times.

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