Press release

Hospital Council and County Health Services Form Unique Coalition To Find Long-Term Solution to West County Health Needs Regional Hospitals Bring Expert Advisors Together To Craft Creative Solutions to Doctors Medical Center Crisis

Image of Hospital Council and County Health Services Form Unique Coalition To Find Long-Term Solution to West County Health Needs Regional Hospitals Bring Expert Advisors Together To Craft Creative Solutions to Doctors Medical Center Crisis

(JUNE 6, 2014) — The Hospital Council of Northern and Central California and Contra Costa Health Services today announced the formation of a Stakeholder Group charged with developing a solution to the long-term health-care issues facing West Contra Costa County.

Hospital Council CEO Art Sponseller was joined by Dr. William Walker, director of the Contra Costa Health Services, in announcing the formation of the Stakeholder Group to evaluate a new health-care strategy for West County, given the financial crisis facing Doctors Medical Center.

“The hospitals and health systems of the region are prepared to work together with Doctors Medical Center, the county and other interested parties to forge a long-term health-care solution that’s in the best interests of county residents,” said Sponseller. Hospital Council members include Doctors Medical Center and the region’s major hospitals and health-care systems.

Under the direction of Dr. Walker, County Health Services will lead a Stakeholder Group that will include representatives from Doctors Medical Center, county government, community clinics and member hospitals of the Hospital Council. Among its tasks, the group will evaluate creative opportunities for preserving essential emergency services in West County.

To support the work of the Stakeholder Group, member hospitals of the Hospital Council will fund a technical advisory group (TAG) made up of experts in the field of health-care finance, medical law, and medical reimbursement. The role of the TAG will be to develop innovative strategies for health-care delivery that meet state licensure requirements.
“In the past, the regional hospitals made significant investments in Doctors Medical Center in the hope that it could turn its financial situation around,” Dr. Walker said. “It’s clear we need to find a more sustainable health-care delivery system, one that provides superior care and is financially viable in the long run.”

Should Doctors Medical Center decide to eliminate services at the hospital, all of the remaining hospitals and health care systems in the region will work to ensure an orderly transition for medical center patients. “Residents will continue to receive inpatient and emergency room services from nearby hospitals, as they always have,” Sponseller said.

“We believe a sustainable, long-term solution is attainable,” Dr. Walker said. “But it will require the willingness of all parties to consider creative alternatives that are affordable in this period of great transition in the health-care industry.”

                                                           -30-

ABOUT CONTRA COSTA HEALTH SERVICES: Its mission is to care for and improve the health of all people in Contra Costa County with special attention to those who are most vulnerable to health problems. Contra Costa Health Services is the largest department of county government, employing more than 3,500 individuals.

ABOUT HOSPITAL COUNCIL: The Hospital Council of Northern and Central California is a nonprofit hospital and health system trade association established in 1961, representing 185 hospitals in 50 of California’s 58 counties—from Kern County to the Oregon border. The Hospital Council’s membership includes hospitals and health systems ranging from small, rural hospitals to large, urban medical centers, representing more than 38,000 licensed beds.

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