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Monday, August 31, 2009

Healthcare District Hires Lawyer for Second Opinion

WALNUT CREEK LAW FIRM HAS DEALT WITH SUTTER IN THE PAST
The Eden Township Healthcare District has retained the legal services of Archer Norris of Walnut Creek, according to Board Director Dr. Vin Sawhney.

The law firm specializes in representing the many sides of the complex health care industry and has experience litigating against Sutter Health. Archer Norris represented the Marin Healthcare District's fight against Sutter over the transfer of Marin General Hospital. Recently, legislators in the area have accused Sutter of moving $88 million from the hospital without the knowledge of the health care district.

The move by the District was necessitated Aug. 18 when the Eden Board of Directors voted to hire legal experts to explore additional options to keep San Leandro Hospital and its emergency room services open after blocking the purchase option of Sutter to buy the facility. That vote was seen as a move by the District in anticipation of an announcement by the Alameda County Medical Center it had signed a lease agreement with Sutter to run the hospital as an acute rehab center while closing the emergency room. Sawhney said the District hopes to have a report from Archer Norris in the coming weeks.

On the same night, the District also approved seeking an independent auditor to scour San Leandro Hopsital's finances, which had claimed excessive losses at the community hospital. Sawhney said no action will be taken on hiring an auditor until the board considers their lawyers forthcoming opinion.

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