Systemic Breakdown: Government Healthcare Forces Hospital Closure
(Guest post by Michael Strickland)
Doctors Medical Center in San Pablo, CA is closing its doors today. The Bay Area facility has been serving the community for 50 years, but has been losing approximately $18 Million a year for the past several years. The West Contra Costa Healthcare District board voted in March to begin the closing process, which included selling off land and nearby buildings that were part of the campus. The city, of course, picked up that tab.
The reason for the closure? 80-90% of the patients are on the dole. More specifically, Medicare and Medi-Cal, the state’s Medicaid program. As the bureaucracies work through their processes, only about 60% of each dollar due finds its way to the hospital to pay patient’s bills.
This leaves about 250,000 residents in the area without a nearby hospital. No telling how many of those people are on the dole (perhaps 80-90% ?), and will now force other hospitals in neighboring cities to have to take them in, meaning those hospitals will now have to deal with the deadbeat Medicare and Medi-Cal payment process.