Gov. Brown Signs Bill to Give $3M to Doctors Medical Center

September 29, 2014 8:00 am · 27 comments

Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a bill to give $3 million to Doctors Medical Center in San Pablo, which has faced closure in recent months due to its ongoing financial problems.

Brown on Saturday signed Senate Bill 883, authored by state Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, and state Sen. Loni Hancock, D-Berkeley, in order to give the hospital funding while hospital and county officials seek long-term funding.

“Doctors Medical Center is the safety net hospital for Richmond, San Pablo and other West Contra County communities, it’s closure would leave a community in need without emergency care, cardio, dialysis and other critical hospital services,” Skinner said in a news release.

“The Governor’s support of this $3 million lifeline expands our window for pursuing solutions to continue to meet these critical healthcare needs,” she said.

The hospital’s ongoing fiscal issues have led the facility to divert emergency ambulances to other Bay Area hospitals and to drastically cut its number of inpatient beds in recent months.

At least one death has been linked to the diversion of ambulance service from DMC, according to the California Nurses’ Association and Skinner’s office.

Hospital executives have prepared for the closure of DMC as community activists, hospital staff and patients have protested against the closure.

DMC’s financial problems have persisted over the years due to a patient population that mostly receives Medi-Cal or Medicare, which gives the hospital lower reimbursement rates.

A May parcel tax measure designed to bridge the hospital’s $18 million structural debt failed, accelerating the prospect of DMC’s closure.

A hospital council consisting of health care providers from Contra Costa County and other Bay Area hospitals has been formed to come up with alternate, lower-cost hospital models that would allow DMC to stay open, such as a stand-alone emergency room.

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Anon September 29, 2014 at 8:20 AM

Isn’t this the place that keeps getting bailed out?

Always Right September 29, 2014 at 8:36 AM

Another casualty of our quasi-socialized medical system. With MediCal under ObamaCare expanding and displacing private insurance, Hospitals in poor areas go broke because low reimbursement from government systems can’t be subsidized by overcharging people wih private insurance.

This is happening all over the state. Thank you, Obama, Pelosi, and Reid.

Sick Of It September 29, 2014 at 8:46 AM

This is the place that keeps getting bailed out………………..must be all those upstanding wannabee community organizers patronizing. Gun shot wounds and overdoses are real money makers.

How dare a hospital expect to break even!

The nerve.

PO'd September 29, 2014 at 8:47 AM

This hospital is located adjacent to a welfare city-it will need a bailout from time to time.

Marianne September 29, 2014 at 8:51 AM

So glad to see this, Doctors’s Hospital has served the communities for decades it would be a shame for it to close because it’s still needed in the area.

Mark B September 29, 2014 at 9:09 AM

LOL… the Dems have gone completely off the deep end.

VOTE THEM OUT!!

Anonymous September 29, 2014 at 9:26 AM

But wait! I thought Obama care was going to take care of this! Of course the nurses want to keep it open. And they want their $66 an hour.
Payoff to nurses union that’s all

Amazing September 29, 2014 at 9:27 AM

Both FEDs and state of CA have cut reimbursement rates paid to doctors and hospitals and they’re baffled when a hospital has financial problems.

But they don’t see or have a problem with their actions, why should they, it’s NOT their money they’re wasting.

ConcordMike September 29, 2014 at 9:34 AM

Sounds like they need to be federally subsidized.
If this hospital closes down, do they all head to Concord and Walnut Creek?
I would think Berkeley and Oakland would be closer, but if one has a Contra Costa Medi-Cal, can they go there?
I think if this hospital were to close down, it would impact our area in Central Contra Costa county.

NeverCeasestoamazeme September 29, 2014 at 9:44 AM

While I understand the concerns of other medical facilities being further away decreasing the chances of survival in some medical emergencies I am not sure providing $3million to keep them afloat is the answer.
The bottom line here is our entire medical system is Broken… no one appears to grasp the reality of what has has transpired. Please do not blame Obamacare as the medical system breakdown started back in the years and years ago when managed care (HMO”S)took over.
HX of breakdown that allowed the insurance companies to overtake and rule the medical system: Physicians ordering UNNECESSARY tests in order to line their pockets. Physicians writing on charts AFTER a patient was deceased claiming they saw them prior so they could get payment. Hospitals adding supplies and procedures not performed. When Cat Scan first came out and doctors purchased and owned and placed in hospitals and clinics I can tell you now the physicians who were part of that ordered scans just to be ordering them…The AMA did a piss poor job of monitoring their own. I remember in the 1980’s as Minneapolis closed hospitals and HMO’s taking over the comments made and it has come to pass from an insurance exec”soon a person will have to take out a loan for elective surgery” Physician asked about the poor guy in his 30 yrs, who has worked hard and paid his taxes and has 3 kids and while his gallbladder may not be an emergency now could turn gangrenous at any time and he just does not have the wherewithal to take out a loan and the insurance exec made this comment “There will be casualities..he is expendable…” JUST remember that could be you, your wife, your kids your parents……and Trust me, several lives have been lost tragically that could have been saved and had productive lives since that time if medical care had not been withheld… Now on the other end of the spectrum, Americans have been fed a bunch of bull over the decades that they need to go to the doctor for everything…….of course the insurance companies realized the profit they could make as well as the drug companies and medical device companies because Americans fell for it… I am not saying profits should not be made but a human life should be valued more than profit. After all we are a civilized country right? Do you even have any comprehension how the politicians over the years(BOTH PARITES) have been getting kickbacks from insurance and drug companies? I don’t think the general American public has a clue…….But this is America. Profit rules. No matter what cost to human life…..But we are a civilized country….
Don’t turn this around to the illegal aliens coming in for free care….You turn around and blame both political parties for allowing the circumstances to prevail that has caused the downfall of medical care and turned it into a trillion dollar business instead….. I would hazard to say that a lot of people taking multiple medicines are dying or suffering due to the interaction of those meds and lack of monitoring……..lets get everyone hooked on as many meds as possible…..that keeps the money registers hopping for the drug companies……..THere is a place for medical care, There is a need for certain individuals for medicines but it has TOTALLY got of control.

Pyrrhus September 29, 2014 at 9:46 AM

“Let them Die!”

/sarcasm

Cautiously Informed September 29, 2014 at 10:09 AM

Why not? This is the era government handouts, welfare, entitlements, the rewarding of non performers/contributors and those that leech off the tax payers. And, the government does everything it can to support and promote this system, especially here in California.

@#10 September 29, 2014 at 10:19 AM

If Obamacare was to solve the problem you state, why is it the there is a provision in it to repay the insurance companies for their losses, but not the hospitals?

cathryn September 29, 2014 at 10:27 AM

I remember with Los Medonas Hospital closed in Pittsburg because of embezzlement and mis use of funds. Pittsburg still has no hospital, but a health clinic. You now either go to Antioch or Concord.

Patty September 29, 2014 at 10:59 AM

This hospital is losing $18 – $20 million per year. Every year. They also need to be retrofitted for earthquakes which will be at least $100 million. This has to stop. The place needs to be closed down.

The county needs to beef up the Urgent Care facility they have just a few blocks away from this hospital. The people that live in that area have to learn to use Urgent Care instead of showing up at the Emergency Room all the time for a cold or non-lethal cut.

There is a Kaiser Hospital close by and Alta Bates not too far for true emergencies. There is also County Hospital in Martinez for emergencies and in-patient care.

I live in this district now, but I choose to continue my doctors and hospital in the John Muir network. I work, and have healthcare insurance. Something like 78% of the patients at this hospital are uninsured or under-insured. I attended some of the meetings about this issue. I asked why people with insurance don’t use this hospital. I was told it is because there are very few doctors affiliated with the hospital. So, they don’t have doctors that refer their patients with full insurance to this hospital. That is an obvious reason, but friends that I know that have lived here for a long time say they do anything they can to avoid using this hospital because the care is so poor.

There is no way to fix this model unless the State or Feds step in. Won’t that be great! Look what a great job the Feds have done for our Veterans.

@13 September 29, 2014 at 11:01 AM

Democrats let the health insurance industry write vast parts of the ACA.
Then rather than take the time to work out problems in the rough draft bill they panicked and shoved the grossly flawed bill through congress. With the idea of fixing it later and we’ve seen what a circle jerk that’s become.

@#13 September 29, 2014 at 12:04 PM

My point exactly. They create the problems themselves, find others to blame, then throw more money it without taking responsibility for what they created.

@#13 September 29, 2014 at 12:15 PM

My point exactly. They create the problems, then blame it on others and think they can just throw money at it without taking responsibility for what they done

@#13 September 29, 2014 at 12:17 PM

Sorry, using a phone. Looked like the first one didn’t go through.
Maybe I could find someone else to blame. (Sarcasm)

The Mamba September 29, 2014 at 12:50 PM

I don’t understand why Obamacare allows inconsistent reimbursement rates, it has created a whole host of other problems and makes finding care extremely difficult for the people that have to rely on its programs.

neverceasestoamazeme September 29, 2014 at 1:32 PM

@#13 Please re read… I never said ObamaCare will solve I said DO NOT BLAME Obamacare because THIS has been GOING on for YEARS BEFORE Obama ever showed up.

For those who believe this just happened to healthcare since Obama was elected have had your heads in the sand many many years….

WHAT I DID state that Politicians IN BOTH PARTIES have contributed to the demise of health care over the years due to pay offs and kick backs from the insurance and drug companies.
It is much easier to place blame where it does not go onto people whom you do not like as individuals instead of both political parties that has gone to the wayside..

Perhaps when our forefathers came here many many many years ago they should have also been boxed up and sent back out to sea..oh but wait that would mean you would not be here today to have this conversation….America is known for the land of opportunity and freedom… Why wouldn’t someone from a country that is suppressed not want to move to a country where they can prosper? Do not blame the immigrants.

If anyone else is to blame other than the politicians it is US citizens for becoming complacent and not being involved in their communities and political actions groups etc. and giving a blank check to elected officials to do what they want.

Hospitals use to be “non profit”… then went to ” for profit ” and that is when things got out of hand…prices soared…..

@ Patty September 29, 2014 at 1:33 PM

The couties Richmond Health Center is not an ugent care clinic. It is a standard family practice & specialties clinic. Contra Costa County runs no urgent care clinics which is one of the biggest problem with the County Health System. People flood the Mtz ER with no ER related issues because Dr Walker & Co refuse to have urgent care facilities.

Elwood September 29, 2014 at 1:38 PM

Gee, I hope my taxes go up to save an unsaveable hospital.

Giving more money to DMC is just pouring it down an rat hole.

itsme September 29, 2014 at 1:50 PM

@Always Right…..this hospital has been in dire straits for many many years. I don’t know why they’ve had a problem for so long and not have been able to fix it. And just in general….$3million will only suffice for a couple of months right?

RIII September 29, 2014 at 2:59 PM

Think about any business that is compelled by the government to give their product or services to a group of people for nothing in return. Who pays the bills? Certainly not the people using the facility! The building will not pass an inspection for earthquakes so that is another cost that will have to be paid by taxpayers. It has been a looser since they changed the name from “Brookside” to “Doctors Medical Center.” The only time you hear the name of that business, is when it’s looking to get bailed out again.

kax September 29, 2014 at 5:37 PM

too many liberal shot callers in this state…this is what happens when you have politicians like brown, gavin newsome,the ridiculous and apparently highly indictable state legislature…..keep rewarding the lazy, the illegal, the homeless by choice. services, and infrastructure fall apart….brown has created an idiocracy in this state…..he is the most delusional and dishonest governor i can remember in this state…

@#21 September 30, 2014 at 7:29 AM

Obamacare has enhanced the problems with the financial aspects of health care and is not the root cause of it. However, given the way the law was passed and the 10s of thousands of additional pages of regulations and interpretations of the law has caused the problems that have occurred.
Since not one Republican voted for it, which political party do you think is responsible for it?

Would it be the same political party that thinks so much of the health and well being of the citizens it is supposed to represent that gave as much money to illegal alien children for lawyers? A right that the legal citizens of this state don’t have to free legal representation for a civil case? Maybe you should consider that some of the politicians should be boxed up and removed from politics and sent to the private sector to live like the rest of us.

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