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Monday, November 15, 2010

Judge Rules Against Eden Township Countersuit

FUTURE OF SAN LEANDRO HOSPITAL AGAIN IN DOUBT
By Steven Tavares

An Alameda County Superior Court judge has ruled against the Eden Township Healthcare District's countersuit alleging a Sutter Health hospital official and former District boardmember possessed a financial conflict-of-interest when they negotiated the 2008 agreement to rebuild Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley. The suit also hoped to stave off the closure of San Leandro Hospital.

Superior Court Judge Marshall Whitley found neither Eden Medical Center CEO George Bischalaney and former District boardmember Dr. Francisco Rico stood to financially gain by the 2008 Memorandum of Understanding which held Sutter responsible for the $300 million rebuild of Eden while keeping San Leandro Hospital open for two years until it became financially viable. Sutter moved to exercise its purchase option of the hospital last summer in advance of closing it down until the District filed suit in March of this year.

The ruling is a significant defeat for the District, which had moved towards an aggressive legal strategy to fight Sutter in the courts in hopes of keeping the community hospital in operation. Alameda County and Sutter have maintained the facility is better served to the local hospital system as an acute rehabilitation facility instead of the current full-service general hospital.

The District,which has run a legal bill into the millions over litigation with Sutter now sits at crossroads. In an email from District CEO Dev Mahadevan, he says lawyers will advise the board of its remaining legal options by this Wednesday. The District holds its monthly meeting Wednesday, 5:30 p.m. at the H.A.R.D. office on E Street in Hayward. As of Monday night, there is no mention of the ruling on the board's agenda.

The fight by doctors, nurses and community activists to keep the hospital afloat over the past two years had encouraged the elected District board members to reconfigure their ranks in opposition to Sutter, which critics contend has traded increased profits from the rebuilt Castro Valley hospital over San Leandro Hospital. Local health officials and Sutter says the hospital, located on East 14th Street lacks a financial durable "payment mix" due to a large number of uninsured patients, a number of whom come from Oakland. For this reason, many have charged Sutter with "medical redlining" over the possible closure, something advocates have also alleged at Sutter's St. Luke's Hospital in San Francisco.

More on the court's ruling coming shortly....

30 comments :

Everything will be fine, Cassidy promised the hospital will not close.
Him and Carol Rogers are on top of things.

LOL

Close the SL down. It is a waste of money and resources. Shame on Eden for wasting over a million dollars on lawyers. Mel

The surrounding hospitals cannot absorb the emergency room visits, lives will be lost from people having to go to Eden, St. Rose or Highland if they have a stroke or heart attack. Also it will be a big blow to the community to lose all those jobs. Fairmont will move their employees to San Leandro Hospital. It is a crime to give the hospital to Sutter for $1. I hope they appeal.

Check with John Palau, perhaps after Sutter closes the hospital they will knock it down and make a park out of it with trails to walk on an pretty cherry trees. Just what San Leandro needs. Mel

Now the County can turn San Leandro Hospital into what they have always wanted it to be: Highland South. I feel sorry for the people in that area who will have to deal with riff raff walking in and out of their neighborhoods to take buses and get on BART at all hours. I know they say they are saying they are only putting in a rehab facility right now but it will only be a matter of time before it turns into more. I've already heard from people who work at Fairmont say that many of the patients are gunshot/violence victims and that many visitors are friends of gang members. It would probably be better for the future of the city if they just tear it down and turn it into a park!

Mel is a jerk without a soul. You laugh while patients suffer. Shame on YOU. Shame on Sutter for destroying a community!
Mark Phillps, Castro Valley

Mark, real alligator tears there since Castro Valley is the community that benefits from Sutter's neglect. Good job there, dude. Real heart. Mel

Ya, Mr Mel. Just where do you think all those excess patients are headed my friend? That's right! They'll be over-crowding the E.R. that serves my family and me.
Not good, or didn't you think that one through, Mel?
Thanks Sutter, for NOTHING!
Mark Phillips, an actual honest to goodness Castro Valley resident!

Closing any hospital is a travesty...eden's ER is already over capacity and the hospital frequently has no inpatient beds. These admissions are held in the ER decreasing available space for emergency patients. ER wait times will increase, similar to a Highland wait time!
Anybody who jokes or thinks this is funny will at some point in their life experience the ramifications of an acute care closure.
Sutter puts profits before the well being of a community, how much profit is enough for the not for profit Sutter??

Mark and the rest of you, do not take out all of your anger on poor Sutter Health. You might want to direct some of that towards Eden. They have squandered more than a million dollars on vanity. Pretty expensive lesson in capitalism. Don't forget that that majority of the voters were in favor of continuing this waste of money. Shame on all of you for supporting this madness. Mel

Well, the citizens of the Eden Township happen to believe that our health is worth it. I don't see any madness there. What I do see is corporate greed, and a system that gives these non-caring fat cats an unfair advantage. God has a way of judging these people.
God Bless,
Mark Phillips, Castro Valley

I will say that the San Leandro employees need to start looking for a job.
A lot of employees know this to be there only job, my suggestion; stop whining and start looking.

The community must get behind the board like they have in the past. We can't let these fat cats at Sutter take away our San Leandro Hospital. This is not what we want, this is not what we will accept

The board is going to stand agaist Sutter Health by appealing the case and we all need to stand behind them and supprot them 100%. I'm wondering, where are our elected officials whom we campaign and voted for? Where is Cassidy and Corbet. We want them to get invoved and raise their voices agist the rulling. San Leandro residents; where are you people? Do you even understand what the closer of San Leandro Hospital means to your community? Where is your outrage? Why are you people sleeping and when you are going to wake up? It may take an 8.0 earthquake to wake you zombies up. If you let this hospital to close you can say goodbye to your home values, your, school values, your healthcare valeues, and your overall status in srounding communities. Lets stand together and save your community hospital from closer.

Carole Rogers is the most fearless, calm leader we have in this community. We can help her, Dr. West and Dr. Sawhney save this hospital and save lives at the same time. Sutter's greed will not stand in our way.

In this day Hospitals,Schools are the last thing that need to be closed!!! After Sutter purchased San Leandro the hospital has gone down hill trying to survive!!! It's not their fault! If you don't have insurance they see you anyway and now Sutter is saying San Leandro Hospital lost millions..."Sutter not for profit" Thats b/s! Help keep San Leandro Hospital Open!!! But don't let Sutter close another hospital down that's not making them millions!!! Thank you San leandro from c.m Oakland,Ca

Last week hospital was FULL! Every bed, every ICU bed, and ER backed up for hours. Sutter corporate can't make a profit out of that?

They want to close a 120 bed hospital (SL) tear down a 300 bed hospital (EdenCV) and open a 130 bed hospital with all private rooms. That's math skills that can kill you!

Carol Rogers is the reason we are in this mess in the first place. She has been a disaster

You are sooooo wrong. What mess are you refering to? There is no way in my mind the hospital would still be open if it WASN'T for Carole Rogers. This must be a Sutter plant writing such driviel.

San Leandro Hospital needs Sutter to back off and let the other companies take over period!!! But Sutter won't let that happen & why would they?... Competition!!! Eden wants to be the best high end hospital with fewer beds but better looking rooms... Is that what the community needs??? NO. Eden doesn't have the community in mind they only know PROFITS!!! Has anyone done research on who would be able to stay admitted at the New Eden Hospital when San leandro closes. If you have Insurance that pays!!! Medicare medical and no insurance guess what TRANSFER to county or GOHOME!

The hospital was surely closed than the flu scare came about and they agreed to stay open through that.
I'm told it was a vote by Carol Rogers and the senile Dr that led to the predicament the hospital is in.
I'm sure Tavares knows what that is.
But believe me Carol Rogers has hurt more than helped.
I will get clarification and post

I'm not sure which predicament you are referring to. If you mean the 2008 agreement as the problem then no, it's not Carole Rogers. If blame on that deal can be attributed to anyone, you would not count Rogers, but the whole deal is tricking to assign "blame." In your terms, you would "blame" Dr. Rico, Ratnesar and Suzanne Barba for the deal, but the reality is this board was put in a bind by Sutter since 2006. I believe these three did what they had to do in 2008. The mindset then, we should remember, is they believed they would lose both hospitals if they didn't deal. If you want to pass judgment on them, you could question why they chose Eden over San Leandro Hospital, but that's where we are at.

Eden is bigger and is a trauma center as well. No brainer to choose Eden. Also right off a freeway

CORRECTION: All hospitals in California run a negative margin on Medicare and MediCal patients. That means they lose money on those patients because the reimbursement they get does not cover their expenses. They survive on the commercial insurance contracts. SLH has 62% Medicare, 17% MediCal, 15% commercial and 6% self pay. That's not enough to stay out of the red.

Since hospitals lose money on Medicare and MediCal patients, why would Sutter fear competition from a hospital that takes care of those patients. Why wouldn't they say "You can have all of them"? The fact is that there is no reputable hospital company that is interested in running SLH.

CORRECTION: Eden is NOT a 300 bed hospital. It is actually about 172 beds. The new hospital will have 130 acute care beds and 40 universal care beds.

For those who still hope that Prime Health will come to the rescue of SLH, you should check with SEIU, the District Board members, and the California AG regarding the legal actions against Prime by the state. Just do an Internet search on Prime but skip the articles written by Prime's PR department and you will see what kind of outfit it really is.

sutter will give SLH to alameda county, county in turn will sell SLH to prime health...nice move !!!

What nonsense! That won't happen and then I will look for your public, although anonymous, admission that your prediction was wrong. But I won't hold my breath waiting for it.

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