Sutter Health Mum About Plans For San Leandro Hospital After High Court’s Decision

April 18, 2012 | With the Eden Township Healthcare District’s legal options expended, excluding a somewhat quixotic petition to the U.S. Supreme Court, what comes next for patients and employees of San Leandro Hospital is unclear.

Sutter Health, following the State Supreme Court’s decision to deny the District’s petition to hear allegations of conflict of interest by two signers of the fateful 2008 agreement to rebuild Eden Hospital in Castro Valley, has not made a public announcement in the week since the determination. According to the terms of the upheld agreement, Sutter now holds title to the facility. A Sutter spokesperson did not respond for comment this week.

Among the possible scenarios, Sutter could shutter the facility, which county sources say is unlikely or maintain services for a short period. More likely, though, it may return to its previous intention to lease the facility to the Alameda County Medical Center for acute rehabilitation services. A similar deal was made between Sutter and the county in 2010 and would shift rehab services from the seismically-deficient Fairmont Hospital to San Leandro Hospital.

The proposal angered residents and hospital employees for among other things closing San Leandro Hospital’s usually crowded emergency room. Numerous legislative solutions had been offered over the past two years by Alameda County Supervisor Wilma Chan, her predecessor Alice Lai-Bitker and State Sen. Ellen Corbett, who said Tuesday she was disappointed in the high court’s decision, but will continue searching for an amicable solution in the best interests of her constituents.

“I feel strongly that it is essential to the health and well-being of East Bay residents to have fully functioning community hospitals with emergency rooms available to visit. We must keep health care services nearby and accessible,” said Corbett. “I will continue to explore all available options to keep our community hospitals operating in their present capacity.”

But, in language suggesting a more somber tone for the fate of the hospital, Corbett said, “Let this be a clear lesson to hospitals and communities across the state: No matter what they say, corporate interests who parachute in to take over hospitals are not interested in preserving community services but rather are motivated solely by the bottom line.”

Corbett’s use of the past tense regarding San Leandro Hospital was also used by others during a meeting of the Alameda County Board of Supervisors Tuesday afternoon dealing partly with the situation at St. Rose Hospital in Hayward. Two local health care officials called the facility “closed” in their statements to the board.

As fears of the hospital’s imminent closure begin to be realized, so has a fair amount of finger-pointing over its demise centered upon the possibility that no matter the great amount of work by local officials to reverse the horrendous 2008 agreement over the past two years, its appears Sutter will get everything it desired and without much effort.

Former San Leandro mayor Tony Santos, who worked on the issue during his term in office, has also been the bane of the Save San Leandro Hospital movement for his comments perceived to be in favor of Sutter closing the facility. He said the blame for the hospital’s potential closing should be spread to many local officials.

“The problem was too many people were listening to [Eden Township board member] Carole Rogers, including Ellen Corbett,” said Santos. He also said San Leandro Councilman Michael Gregory, whose district the hospital rests, did nothing over the past three years to “move this forward.”

Santos also recounted Sutter’s unwavering consistency in saying what they would do and sticking with it over the past few years. “They always said they were not going to deal with Carole Rogers and they never did,” Santos said. “They said they would not make any comment until the decision is rendered and that’s what they did.”

20 thoughts on “Sutter Health Mum About Plans For San Leandro Hospital After High Court’s Decision

  1. No. What blows my mind is that twice someone on the Internet made assertions that were demonstrably false and I thought I could have a reasonable exchange with them.


  2. emt's cannot ask about insurance status. You are correct but, in non life threatening situations they will ask you when they pick you up “do you have a medical center of preference you'd like to go to”?

    This is why kaiser people end up at kaiser and people who are insure by someone else say what ever their hospital of choice, closest by would be..

    Here's the catch. When a non insure person is asked this question they say ” it doesn't matter”. That's code word for, NOT KAISER.

    please allow this to register as I know your mind is now blown.


  3. You may be right about the Sutter honchos, but you are just wrong about Kaiser and the uninsured. I know that paramedics arrive at Kaiser with the uninsured. This is backed up by the emt protocols which are clear that insurance status is not a factor in transport so you need to back up your statement that I am living in a fantasy. Data also shows that between Kaiser Oakland and Kaiser Hayward, over 8,000 uninsured went through their ERs in 2010 which is considerably more uninsured than SLH served.

    The whole issue is moot anyway because Sutter won its lawsuit and gets to decide what they want to do (and maybe you are right about the Sacto angle, but I don't have much confidence in your assertions).


  4. Paramedics will not take non-kaiserites to Kaiser unless it's a major disaster that warrants such action and every hand needs to be on deck. Just like kaiserites will not go to Eden, they'll go to — you guessed it — Kaiser. I have nothing further to add to your utopian idea of non-payers choosing Kaiser as their ER destination. It is not based on reality.

    And while we're on the subject: I think Sutter is looking to score a bargaining chip with acquiring title to the SLH building and do some politics in Sacto with it. Negotiate something with Corbet and the state in exchange for certain favors — something they want. And if they get it, they will graciously allow SLH to continue its acute services with ER. We have not seen the end of the tunnel here. That is only a hunch though, so don't hold me to it. This is just the beginning of a long process.

    Sutter honchos are not stupid. They know what's going to happen if they close SLH ER. I don't think they want to shoot themselves in the foot. SLH filters out patients they want no part of. Why mess with something they can benefit from? Why would they ever want to Highlandize EMC?


  5. No Milo, my guess is better than yours because although I have no more knowledge than you, I know that my guess is 100% consistent with the actions of people who ran SLH and knew the insurance status and origin of every person who walked through the ER door. Those same people made a several hundred million dollar investment in EMC. These people belong to an organization that makes a substantial profit and basically are the 500 lb gorilla that every insurance plan in Northern California has to deal with. They may be evil (and I think that is more than a little overblown) but they are not stupid.

    Also, on what basis do you form your Kaiser opinions because I have first-hand (not comprehensive knowledge) and I just don't see the horror stories of Kaiser mistreating the no-insurance riffraff that are being proposed here.


  6. Your guess is as good as mine. I do disagree substantially about the Kaiser deal. They want no part of the no-insurance riffraff. County will be twisting their arm to take the patients while at the same time, EMC will be on divert on nightly basis. That would be every night-ly basis. (I would inderline “every” if I could.)

    As I said: fat lady will sing about 18 months from now. Expect the worst, my friend.


  7. Milo, that's better, but you're still wrong. 100% of the traffic is NOT going to go to EMC. Also, Sutter is happy to have the insured and the insured are more happy going to a new, spiffy place even if the care isn't better (I won't get into that debate). The uninsured are going to divert to Kaiser when it's open cause they don't care and, contrary to the BS in this comments section, Kaiser is as nice or nicer for the uninsured than Sutter. Some uninsured will just defer their less urgent problems especially if EMC has long waits. Some will divert themselves to the County hospital. Finally, Sutter is going from a money losing operation at SLH as an acute care hospital to a money-making operation in its deal with the County. Maybe the numbers won't work out as well as the paper projections for Sutter, but I'm sure they will work out better than the current situation.

    I'm betting Fry will be putting this one in his “win” column especially if he gets 10's of million of compensation from the Eden District because of their fruitless lawsuit.


  8. Correction: extra 68.49 patients per day, half non-payers. You know, the “redliners” we've been talking about for the last 2 years or so.

    Will Pat Fry lose his job because of that? Probably not. He's not a Disney chairman, after all–who did–recently. Makes only 2 million+ a year. Peanuts. Disney chairs make 187,000 dollars an hour on average. Just for comparison. And they do lose jobs if they screw up as Disney did, recently.

    But the fact remains: There will be a lot of taxis arriving at EMC from the local populace. EMC ER will be begging for a divert every night. For those who don't know what a divert is…it is ER's cry into the night. “No more ambulances!”

    So there…


  9. Are you happy now, knowing that SLH will be on the verge of closing? I guess you are so happy that you were right all along, saying ” I said so!! ” grinning from ear to ear…making fist pumps chanting ” I knew it!! ” or ” Yess!! “… Karma is a BITCH…It will be knocking on your door soon, It already forced its way into mine. – karma


  10. It's funny because Milo's answers at 10:47 show some intelligence and humor yet his earlier predictions are the work of a more coherent Papa John. “Waiting Room” about Highland's ER is showing today – I think people, both critics and supporters of SLH should go see it. The busiest hospital in the EB gets an average of less than 250 new patients a day so I don't think Eden is ever gonna see an EXTRA 1000 uninsured.


  11. 1- Obama. Like it or not.
    2- She is not.
    3- Never. No hope of that.
    4- Not yet. They are working on it as everybody knows.
    5- Not a chance. Siberian fairy tale.

    A couple of freebees while I'm at it:

    6- Next recession will bottom out in 2023.
    7- Next stock market crash: November 2019.
    8- End of the world: not in your lifetime.

    Any other questions?


  12. Milo the san leandro psychic.

    Can you tell us who will win the presidental election? Is my daughter a virgin? Will Israel and the Arabs make up, maybe hold hands? Does Iran have a nuke? Is there a santa claus?


  13. November 2013…SLH is in reconstruction to become whatever. New Eden Hospital ER is stuffed with 1000 extra non-payers per 24 hours Sutter did not expect to show up. Overworked, surly staff cutting corners. Med errors, lousy service, gurneys all over the hallways, overfilled waiting room.

    Welcome to the Eden Hospital ER war zone.


  14. Paul Vargas, above, wondering why I don't ask Cassidy about the situation: one, he doesn't know anything about the situation. Nobody in San Leandro is part of this and have never been. I don't write big news stories 6 days after they happen like the Daily Review and I don't assume the mayor of San Leandro is the best source on the issue like they did just because he's the mayor of the city where the hospital resides. It makes sense, but not in the case.

    Another thing. Why do you go to San Leandro Patch and make such thoughtful comments and then come here and act stupid? By readership, Patch is the minors or do you want me to write articles about the best insane asylums in San Leandro?


  15. This is a further disastrous sign that the entire nationwide system of healthcare is broken. Corporations with profit as their only motive do not belong in the position of presiding over life and death decisions. Bring back traditional non-profit healthcare, single-payer or government expanded medicare competition for the insurance companies, and take the money out of healthcare decisions. Cut the bureaucratic waste out of insurance company administration of the healthcare industry. It's the only ethical and responsible way to handle this mess. Enough with the industry-funded scare tactics over “socialism” and “death panels”. We already have the death panels, they are called insurance company administrators.


  16. The “nobody and moron” got it pretty much right at every turn while Papa John blustered his way to being absolutely wrong. How about considering the idea that all those “smart” people who insisted that a losing strategy was going to win might be wrong about the actual ability of SLH to save lives? My guess? no increase in mortality at all.


  17. Ex-mayor Tony Santos is telling his followers that the reason the State Supreme Court denied the District's petition was because of his personal letter that he wrote to the high court encouraging them to deny it. We need more people with Power of persuasion on our side! Or delusions of grandeur.


  18. Who cares what that pussy has to say. He's a nobody and a moron. If you wanted a respectable source you would of only had to go to city hall and ask our CURRENT mayor, CASSIDY!!


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