CRESCENT CITY- Sutter Coast Hospital announced on Friday they would be seeking critical access designation. This means they could possibly go from a full-fledged hospital, to a small facility with limited outpatient and in-patient services.
To help decide how to move forward, the board hired an outside group to conduct a study on the hospital. According to a statement released by the hospital board, Sutter Coast has seen a drop in the number of in-patients. In addition, Medicare and Medi-cal insure 70 percent of their patients. According to Sutter Coast, this is an issue because the government reimbursements rates for those services are continuing to decline. Sutter Coast Hospital Board Chair, Ken Hall, said in a statement released quote, “Sutter Coast faces these challenges in a somewhat unique environment where our opportunities to increase revenues are limited because of our rural location and our demographics… we have been able to achieve some significant operational efficiencies and savings, but Sutter Coast is still projected to operate at a loss of nearly 7-million dollars this year…”
The board also voted to preserve local control by the Sutter Coast Hospital Board of Directors for the foreseeable future. Stay with News Channel 3 as we continue to follow this developing story.