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Tri-City Hospital in Oceanside Working on a New Program and Plan To Stabilize Finances and Pull Out of the Red

Posted Jul 04 2010 6:53am

When we hear about competition with hospitals and affiliations, Tri-City certainly knows the music here after losing many patients to Scripps  when a Medical Group merged with Scripps.  In May the hospital filed a lawsuit against Citigroup for misguidance given to the hospital for their investments, and yes hospitals have image portfolios these days, some have had them for years. 

Nurse layoffs are included and cutting down the average days for a hospital stay to try to reach a goal of 3.7 days.  The hospital uses a hospitalist group under contract and give them a lot of credit for helping reduce hospitals stay times already.  A total of 93 positions will be eliminated.  55% or better of the hospitals in the US are currently operating in the red and that was as of a few months ago and the percentage could have changed.  The hospital is also working on bringing more Medical maternity patients under their care. As everyone knows Medical is usually at the bottom of the list for compensation but the one big exception in California are births.  A while back I did some consulting for a doctor where that was his specialty in obgyn and that’s about all he did.  As mentioned above, the hospital is going to court with Citigroup and last week we had Goldman Sachs announce their intent to enter healthcare IT. 

The article is worth a read as they are not coming in with new software, its usually more like recommending partners to totally re-do the entire operation in order to enable the hospital to make money.  This is a big move right now with private equity firms, 2 instances so far, investing and restructuring hospitals that can’t free up money and get out of debt or bankruptcy, in other words, those that are almost out of money.  BD 

In an effort to stabilize its finances and pull itself out of the red, the Tri-City Healthcare District plans to lay off dozens of workers, forge contracts with new medical groups, increase surgeries and shorten hospital stays. 

Officials for the public hospital district, which runs the 397-bed Tri-City Medical Center in Oceanside, said this week that they envision a 14.5 percent increase in the number of patients per day — from 198 in 2010 to 227 daily patients in the fiscal year that began Thursday — as well as a 16 percent increase in the number of surgeries.

Anderson said the deficit actually could run as high as $13 million, after newly-hired Chief Financial Officer Alex Yu found what could amount to a $3 million miscalculation in revenues from previous years.

Since being hired in March, Yu has found what Anderson called a “sloppy” and “unverifiable” method the hospital used to calculate anticipated public and private insurance reimbursements. To correct the books and adopt a more commonly-used method, the district may need to show a $3 million loss from previous years, Anderson said.

The California Nurses Association and the Service Employees International Union were notified June 25 of pending layoffs, he said.  Among them are plans to reduce hospital stays from an average of 4.4 days in 2009 to 4.2 days or lower — possibly to an average of 3.7 days, Anderson said.

Tri-City was dealt what he called a “devastating blow” in 2008, when the 64-doctor Sharp Mission Park medical group in Oceanside merged with Scripps Health and sent 60,000 patients away from Tri-City Medical Center to Scripps hospitals. He estimated that about 20 percent of those patients have returned to Tri-City but the hospital is trying to increase business by wooing specialty medical groups, particularly in orthopedics, oncology and cardiology.

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