City Manager Pat West and Long Beach Memorial Medical Center CEO John Bishop, along with staff, met for several hours Friday afternoon attempting to reach an agreement to keep Community Hospital open in the long run.
Still, the emergency room will close Monday as scheduled, and the entire hospital will shut down on July 3.
That was expected, West said Saturday. But an agreement between the city and Memorial will work to keep the acute hospital licenses “in suspense,” meaning the new operator could reopen much more quickly. Without the license suspension, a new license application would be required, taking six to nine months.
The statement was released at 8:30 p.m. Friday. A revised version came out at 10:30 p.m.:
Officials met to discuss “the transition of Community Medical Center after its closure on July 3. The City and MemorialCare are discussing the process for placing the existing hospital license in ‘suspense’ to allow for potential transition of Community Medical Center if the requisite regulatory approvals are met.
“The City and MemorialCare are committed to working together to meet with applicable regulatory agencies and other stakeholder groups to work towards the transition to the new operator. The City will continue to work with its chosen operator to address the seismic issues, obtain financing and secure required regulatory approvals for the transition of Community Medical Center.”
Tuesday night, the City Council voted to enter into exclusive negotiations with a potential new operator at Community — Molina, Wu, Network, LLC. (MWN) — to operate a smaller acute care hospital and emergency room.
The motion included a call for Memorial to keep the hospital open and its licenses active until the new operator could take over. Bishop and Memorial have given notice that the emergency room would close Monday, June 25, and the entire hospital would close on July 3.
While that didn’t happen, West said the agreement to put the licenses in suspense was a step in the right direction.
“They could have ‘surrendered’ the license,” West said, “which would have not allowed it to be assumed and a new operator would have to start over and bring everything to 2018 codes.”
The primary concern is the seismic requirements hospitals must face. There is an earthquake fault directly under the hospital property at Termino Avenue and Pacific Coast Highway, requiring buildings to be retrofitted to meet state standards. State Assemblyman Patrick O’Donnell has agreed to push a bill extending the deadline for that work from the current June 30, 2019, but the city has been told some viable approach to the issue must be presented before that can happen.
MemorialCare first announced last November that it planned to end operations at Community Hospital at or before the June 30, 2019, deadline to meet requirements to have a seismic retrofit plan in place. According to Bishop, once that announcement was made, employees, doctors and nurses began to leave.
In March, MemorialCare formally notified the city it would stop operations in 120 days — July 3, 2018. Just days later, the emergency room began turning away Advanced Life Support ambulance patients, citing a lack of staff for the intensive care and surgical units. That caused the scramble to find a new operator.
In his regular Friday newsletter, Fourth District City Councilman Daryl Supernaw said:
“Over the last 48 hours, the City and MemorialCare have been discussing a collaborative solution for the future operation of Community Hospital that will address City Council priorities discussed at the City Council’s June 19 meeting.
“…While we don’t have all the details, we believe a collaborative solution is possible. We have both agreed to refrain from any non-constructive public comments during the period of negotiations.”
NOTE: This story was updated to show the purpose of the talks was to help the new operator reopen Community Hospital, not to keep it open without interruption.
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‘Suspense’ deal worked out, aiming to make it easier to reopen Community Hospital Long Beach have 728 words, post on www.presstelegram.com at June 21, 2018. This is cached page on Talk Vietnam. If you want remove this page, please contact us.