Officials at three hospitals in Glendale -- Glendale Adventist
Medical Center, Glendale Memorial Hospital and Verdugo Hills Hospital
-- and Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank hope that
hospital closures can be avoided and fear the strain they might face
by serving more patients if the facilities are shut down.
Santa Barbara-based Tenet announced this week it wants to sell 27
hospitals in part because it cannot afford $1.6 billion for seismic
retrofitting on all its California hospitals.
Many of the hospitals Tenet is selling, including Queen of
Angels-Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center, Encino-Tarzana Regional
Medical Center and Community Hospital of Huntington Park, serve
low-income residents and are unsalable, said Leonard LaBella, chief
executive officer at Verdugo Hills.
"The economics don't work. That's why Tenet is choosing these
[hospitals] to sell," he said. "If a publicly run company cannot run
its hospitals, I don't know who can come in and do better."
L.A. County Supervisor Michael Antonovich, whose district includes
Glendale, plans to introduce a motion at Tuesday's board of
supervisors meeting, directing the county's Emergency Services
Commission to evaluate the effect closing the hospitals will have on
the county's medical and bioterrorism preparedness system.
The certain closure of some Tenet hospitals will have a ripple
effect in the region, LaBella said.
"The first sign will be in emergency rooms. But there will be an
overall geographic redistribution of patients as they search for new
hospitals to receive health care," he said.