San Joaquin General Hospital in Bakersfield is looking at some serious cuts, as noted here in the article, the hospital has been operating in the “red” for many years. Now they are looking at possibly discontinue their residency program, sad. I hope I don’t need to revive the “Desperate Hospitals” series again. We keep hearing about record profits from insurance companies, record profits from pharmacy benefit managers, big profits from drug companies, and big profits from medical device manufacturers, and yet at the level of service, the hospitals and doctors offices the money gets tighter and less are receiving care.
Again, it’s like the elephant in the middle of the living room that is being ignored or many choosing not to see it. The elephant here is the healthcare in the US. Hospitals have fixed costs and so do many other healthcare facilities and there’s a point to where the cutting has to stop and perhaps we should explore the other side of the industry who is still making big profits to provide products and services to healthcare facilities who are getting near the end of the affordable financial rope. BD
The amputation was necessary to save the patient's life. That's the view of backers of the decision to radically cut spending at San Joaquin General Hospital.
Measures passed by the county Board of Supervisors this week will end the French Camp hospital's residency program and prompt its system of clinics to convert to Federally Qualified Health Centers, and could pave the way for the eventual sell-off or leasing out of the hospital in parts or in whole.
The hospital has been losing money for nearly a decade, and this financial year the loss is expected to exceed $20 million — $8 million more than the nearly $12 million budgeted in the county's general fund.
The sluggish economy means those numbers would likely worsen in years to come.
"The sources from which public hospitals are funded — state sales tax and vehicle license fees — have declined," Culberson said. "And increased unemployment means there is a greater demand for hospital services from the uninsured. "We're bleeding red ink here," Ornellas said. "The county is projected to lose $55 million on the fiscal year and $20 million of that will be the hospital. The board is expected to respond to a detailed breakdown of where the job cuts could be made at its next meeting in March.