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Doctors Medical Center San Pablo

Impacts of Potential Downgrade or Closure of Hospital Emergency Services at Doctors Medical Center


Update December 18, 2014

Planning Group Releases Final Report

The Doctors Medical Center (DMC) Regional Planning Group, formerly known as the DMC Stakeholder Group has released a final report that represents the conclusions of the technical advisory group and includes an analysis of urgent care which the report states would provide the most financially sustainable option for meeting the health care needs of the 89 percent of patients who use the DMC emergency department but do not require hospital admission.

The DMC Region Planning Group is an independent team of health care financial and technical experts leading efforts to come up with a solution to preserve emergency services in the West Contra Costa County area. The regional planning group includes representatives from Doctors Medical Center, the West Contra Costa Healthcare District, Contra Costa Health Services, Contra Costa County government, the Hospital Council of Northern California, and area hospitals.

Background

Doctors Medical Center San Pablo announced in April that it intended to close, prompting Contra Costa EMS to hold a public hearing on June 9 regarding the potential impact of that action (watch a recording of the hearing here). DMC subsequently retracted its notice of potential closure when the stakeholder group formed.

The hospital, community owned by the West Contra Costa Healthcare District, has been working with its partners on strategies for closing an $18 million annual operating deficit while maintaining its emergency, acute care and other healthcare services for West County residents. Hospital management estimates that under the best-case scenario, DMC has enough money available to stay open as a scaled-down full-service hospital only through the first quarter of 2015, according to the Stakeholder group interim report.

Ambulances were redirected from Doctors Medical Center's emergency department beginning Aug. 7 because of DMC staff changes in the wake of employee and physician resignations. Although DMC will no longer accommodate emergency ambulance traffic, its emergency department will remain open for walk-in patients and continue to receive patients transported by ambulance from nursing homes.

Patients needing emergency medical care will be transported to the closest available basic emergency department, which may vary based on the location of the patient. Patients needing specialty care, such as treatment for high-risk heart attack (STEMI), will be transported to the closest appropriate specialty facilities in Contra Costa or surrounding counties.