>>”Rehab Is Dead. ACMC Deal Is Dead.”
HEALTH CARE | The potential deal to maintain current services at San Leandro Hospital for, at least, three years is no longer on the table, says Alameda County Supervisor Wilma Chan.

“Rehab is dead. ACMC is dead,” Chan said Wednesday referring to the proposal sought last October to subsidize San Leandro Hospital as a general acute care facility with 24-hour emergency room services with help from the county, the Alameda County Medical Center, city of San Leandro and the Eden Township Healthcare District.

The fallout from the break down in negotiation means the hospital is as near to closure as at any time in the past four years since Sutter Health, the now-owner of the hospital, first proposed shuddering the facility in the fall of 2009 to become a hospital specializing in acute rehabilitation services.

In fact, The Citizen obtained a correspondence between ACMC and Sutter Health showing the deal has been off the table since Nov. 27.

Chan said she was not very hopeful of the subsidy deal being approved by Sutter, but acknowledged it was the only deal presently available. The next course of action may turn to political leaders in Sacramento, Chan said, as Sutter may be attempting to expand its market share through provisions of the Affordable Care Act being steadily prepared for implementation at the state and county level over the next year.

In addition, at last Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting, Chan pulled a consent item from the agenda dealing with the renewal of a 3-year, $6 million county subsidy given to Sutter’s Eden Hospital for trauma services. “I want to take a look at it,” Chan said, Wednesday. “I want to see if the county should be doing this because their actions in that part of the county are unconscionable.”

Similarly, to much of the past four years, Sutter has maintained the upper hand in driving the potential future of San Leandro Hospital, through shrewd deal-making and astute legal maneuvering. However, the facility’s future as a general acute hospital is still unclear. Sutter, as owner, could conceivable announce the closure of the facility and emergency room at any moment.

Observers on both sides of the bay, believe Sutter will not act upon their intention to transform San Leandro Hospital into an acute rehab center until their negotiations with the San Francisco Board of Supervisors over St. Luke’s Hospital and a new facility at Cathedral Hill are finalized. Even if Sutter were to close San Leandro Hospital’s emergency room tomorrow, Chan says, there is still a 60-90 day window for the both the county and state health department to approve the transfer.