Sutter Health Feels Like It Was Attacked, Says County Official

Mar. 29, 2012 | San Leandro Vice Mayor Michael Gregory says Sutter Health is willing to come back to the negotiating table in the dispute over San Leandro Hospital “if they can come out of this honorably.”

Gregory made the comment last Tuesday during a special ad hoc committee formed to analyze the situation with the hospital along with the general state of health care in the city.

“Is there a chance we can get Sutter to talk?” Gregory asked Alex Briscoe, the director of Alameda County Healthcare Services.

“Because of the litigation,” answered Briscoe, “it is impossible to gauge Sutter’s willingness to engage in the community process because they are understandably defending their own interests and because of the lawsuit it is impossible to determine what their willingness will be.”

The recent detachment of San Leandro Hospital from the solution to also save St. Rose Hospital in Hayward suggests the issue of the facility’s murky future again rests within the bounds of long discussed, but unpopular proposal to lease it through Sutter to the Alameda County Medical Center for acute rehabilitation services without an emergency room.

For this scenario to rise to the forefront, Sutter would need to fully prevail in their lawsuit with the Eden Township Healthcare District over title to San Leandro Hospital. Sounding a bit apprehensive, Briscoe said, “I still have to believe that once the lawsuit is negotiated, there will be an opportunity for us to sit down with Sutter and negotiate something in the best interests of San Leandro and Sutter—I have to be believe that.”

The catch, though, is Sutter has shown no inclination to enter meaningful talks with the county since the District’s board of directors filed suit against the health care provider in 2009, Briscoe said. Sutter’s business with the county is much larger and successful than just San Leandro Hospital, Briscoe added.

But, those ties have been frayed by constant legal wrangling on the periphery with a few of the more aggressive opponents of Sutter on the Eden Township board, notably Chair Carole Rogers. Members of that board were invited by the city to address the ad hoc committe last Tuesday, but citing advice from legal counsel, declined to attend.

“In many ways they are a responsible partner,” Briscoe said of Sutter. “I think it’s too easy to vilify individuals here and say these are bad people. I actually don’t believe that. I believe this is a corporation protecting its interests. It feels it has been attacked and it’s difficult to have authentic negotiation while under the threat of litigation.”

In the meatime, the District and the community awaits a decision by the California State Supreme Court over a petition to hear the case alleging the pivotal 2008 memorandum of understanding between it and Sutter is invalid over conflict of interests by two former members of the District’s board.

The District has been unsuccessful in two lower courts in the past year. Even if the case is accepted by the high court and ruled in the District’s favor, county official say, the big question of who runs San Leandro Hospital going forward will still need to be determined.

23 thoughts on “Sutter Health Feels Like It Was Attacked, Says County Official

  1. Just as an FYI, I work for Sutter in the business arena and as I was told….we are “dumping San Leandro Hospital because its not profitable”


  2. The supreme court said today that they will not hear district appeal so I guess it is only a matter of time until Sutter closes San Leandro Hospital down and we lose jobs.


  3. He would have been gone years ago, however, once the health district named him in a lawsuit. Sutter couldn't get rid of him.

    Now he's hanging around and so is she cause of him.


  4. Has turned into? He plays both sides. He just pandered to us at the yesterday. He's a sneak and a lier. Ask Cass.


  5. George Bischalaney has turned into an awful human being, warped by Sutter's money into becoming an advocate for killing Alameda County residents and firing hundreds of health care workers and fellow community members.

    Sutter could afford to continue full services at SLH and still maintain their high amount of profitability. They don't want to, because they're greedy.

    Let's pray they are defeated in their rejections of Christ's teachings. (Or Joseph Smith's teachings, to be more in tune with Sutter's concerns.)


  6. at the SLH employee forum today ol' George said that the supreme court will give it's decision wether or not to hear the case at or before April 30th. When asked what was sutters next step would be if the case did not get picked up, George said a 90 day notice of the closure of the emergency room and medical center would be submitted immediately.

    Fuck you sutter.


  7. For SLH to have a license independent of the “New Eden” is the first step to become independent hospital again. Pending ruling by the Supremes, of course. Which is the wild card. Interestingly enough, the relicensing was supposed to happen in July. Now it's said to be in September. Shady…


  8. yes steven they have been happening for years. Also sutter has hired a contractor. He is a sutter employee with badge to boot. His job is to make an up to date blue print of SLH because sutter is going to license SLH seperate from Eden so as SLH will be NOT be under the name of “Eden medical center san Leandro campus”, but something else. the new Eden will be called “Sutter health medical center east bay”, and not Eden anymore. I don't know what this means for SLH but it's probably not good


  9. I can confirm the comment above. County staff have been seen at San Leandro Hospital doing some kind of measurements of the building.

    My source, though, doesn't think the show is anything but a scheme to scare the exisiting employees. These sorts of shenanigans have happened periodically at the hospital over the past three years.


  10. By MW:

    Most likely Sutter's already extremely highly paid five star generals have decided that the only honorable thing would be if in any reorganization they were allowed to have even more lucrative financial arrangements for themselves, and that no one is going to be allowed to disrepect them by reducing their salaries in any way.


  11. The medical office building next to the hospital was measured by the county staff as well. What kind of outpatient services/clinics does the county provide?


  12. It is not drug rehab. It is physical therapy with an emergency room and acute beds. Of course, rather keep it open as is.


  13. Yeah funny how we're back to square one. ACMC is looking like the only solution that keeps SL Hospital open. Wilma Chan made it seem like she would use her experience as a state legislator to somehow bring new solutions. Nope that hasn't happened. Instead back to ACMC and St. Rose has even become a larger priority to the County than SL Hospital.


  14. So they want to invite Wright Lasseter to the next San Leandro ad hoc committee meeting? He is the one at the first public hearing years ago that gave us a powerpoint presentation about the lease agreement between the county and Sutter; then never showed at any of the subsequent ones? We have long memories about this. Try it again in San Leandro City Hall chambers Mr. Lasseter! We saw you two weeks ago inside San Leandro Hospital measuring the rooms for what? Then in the doctors office buildings for what? Your Drug Rehab outpatient clinics next to the Senior Center and across the street from the new high school?


  15. I just can't get over this Santos guy. Imagine he was still the mayor of this town. I think he owes it to this community to keep his 5 cents to himself and recuse himself from posting on this board. San Leandro did the right thing not re-electing him.


  16. a not for profit health care corporation closing down community hospitals should be outlawed. This is why people take part in off the wall shit like occupy… major corporations twist the laws to their advantage to fuck the majority of the poulatiom LEGALY. Good ol USA


  17. There is no honour among thieves. Sutter Health history. Run a community hospital into the ground, then close it. No “with you for life” – just with you for death.


  18. All I can say is for everyone to accept the August 2009 agreement between Sutter and ACMC. Tony Santos


  19. I'd certainly suggest that “it's difficult to have authentic negotiation” when Sutter informed the Eden Healthcare District that they planned to violate the 2004 contract which guaranteed that Sutter would finance the rebuild of Eden Hospital.

    From what we were told by Board leaders in 2006 and 2007, Sutter was telling the District they would have to take Sutter to court to try to enforce that 2004 MOU. Unfortunately, that could have taken years, which would have put the hospital in danger of missing the State deadline for completing retrofits or rebuilds of acute care Hospitals so that the buildings will be certain of surviving the next big earthquake.

    Drs. Rico and Ratnesar, along with other leaders, told the public this is what compelled the District to negotiate the horrible replacement contract for the Castro Valley rebuild which put San Leandro Hospital on track for closure.

    So, spare us the “(Sutter) feels that it has been attacked” sympathy line. Our Healthcare District is “protecting its interests” just as the powerful Sutter is. What are those interests? They are easily identified by their actions. The District's interest is to keep vital, lifesaving, pain-relieving services open. Sutter's interest is to close these services because it will increase their profits.

    I'd prefer that Wright Lasseter and Pat Fry were the ones sent out in public to defend the ACMC/Sutter deal; many community members respect Alex Briscoe and are disappointed that he feels compelled to associate himself with this. Of course, if the community had had the opportunity to speak with Lasseter, Fry, and other leaders in their universes, maybe Sutter could have avoided having its poor fee-fees hurt. (“Corporations are people”, right?) But, no, CEO's don't feel the need to sully themselves by answering any questions from average people; that's the United States these days.

    Briscoe's quotes in the sixth paragraph are quite revealing. Because Alex sees that closing SLH's ER would be a stab in the gut for health care in Alameda County, he has to believe that Sutter would be willing to renegotiate “something in the best interests of San Leandro and Sutter”, a concession that the current deal is NOT in those best interests. How does Briscoe gain his belief that Sutter will be willing to renegotiate if they prevail legally over the District? Nothing, apparently, other than being personally repulsed by the alternative.

    Of course, the public witnessed Sutter's “negotiation” technique when they told the Healthcare District to pound sand in 2006. In the tradition of gangsters taking over turf: “Nice hospitals you have here…shame if something happened to them.”


  20. Suttee is not the victim. Briscoe is trying to ease us to sleep so we won't mInd that much when the county closes our hospital. If briscoe had any back bone he'd be standing with the district every step of the way and he definitely would not allow any signing of deals for sutter to close SLH and hand the empty building to ACMC. Briscoe is full of shit.


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