Community united against removal of care units from St. Luke’s Hospital

By : missionlocal – excerpt

Appalling, outrageous, inhumane, unacceptable, heartbreaking, tragic were all words that doctors, nurses and families of patients used on Wednesday to describe the closing of the skilled nursing and sub-acute units at St. Luke’s Hospital.

The remarks were made at a hearing in front of the Public Safety and Neighborhood Services Committee meeting. It’s unclear if Board of Supervisors can prevent California Pacific Medical Center from closing the beds – a move that would impact 44 patients – but it was clear that the supervisors will try.

The units slated for closure care for patients with extreme health needs, such as patients requiring inhalation therapy or intravenous tube feeding. Closing the units means that the most vulnerable patients would have to be transferred to locations outside San Francisco, according to those who testified at the hearing.

“We now have no sub-acute beds in San Francisco,” said Supervisor Hillary Ronen, a co-sponsor of the hearing with Supervisor Ahsha Safai.

This means that patients with extreme health needs whose families live in San Francisco cannot receive care in San Francisco.

A speaker from the Department of Public Health said the city’s population is aging and if there is no change in the number of acute care units, there will only be 12 beds available per 12,000 people in the near future.

With an aging population the number of skilled nursing and sub-acute beds in hospitals should be increasing. However, the speaker from the Department of Public Health said that there is an “overall decline in skilled nursing beds.”…


“Patients are in jeopardy,” said Jane Sandoval, a registered nurse that has worked at St. Luke’s for 32 years. Moving them would mean moving them away from their families and support networks and from the nurses that they already know and trust. All the families are very happy with the service they have received at St. Luke’s and don’t want to move from there… (more)


The Agenda, April 24 -39: Real health-care reform!

Tim Redmond : 48hills – excerpt

Plus: Affordable housing, evictions, Airbnb …. and the Leaning Tower of Soma. It’s going to be a busy week

A measure that would transform health care in California and set the stage for a profound change nationwide comes before its first committee Wednesday/26.

SB 562, by Sens. Ricardo Lara and Tony Atkins, could be the most important piece of legislation in the state this year…

The California Nurses Association is leading the fight, and will be holding a rally and march to the state Capitol starting at 11 am. The hearing is at 1:30. Buses will leave San Francisco at 7:50 am, one from the Zoo and one from Civic Center; you can RSVP here

The heated battle over affordable housing in SF is back at the Planning Commission Thursday/27, and it’s pretty clear that the deck has been stacked in favor of the plan favored by Sups. Ahsha Safai and London Breed – and the developers…

It’s going to be a crazy busy day at the Supes Government Audit and Oversight Committee Friday/28

irst, Sup. Jane Kim has called for a hearing on the city’s enforcement practices around residential evictions. That’s going to play into her move to ensure more accountability for landlords who do fake owner-move-in evictions – and may be the start of a discussion around the need for more enforcement authority and inspectors at the Rent Board.

Next: Sup. Aaron Peskin wants to look into the funding and oversight of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco – which will no doubt bring up some of the issues around former DeYoung honcho Dede Wilsey, whose tenure was marked by all sorts of issues.

Then we are back to the Leaning Tower of Soma, and Peskin’s ongoing efforts to figure out why the city approved and a developer constructed a giant luxury housing tower that is now sinking and keeling over to the side…(more)

What Happens to San Francisco’s Medical Safety Net Under the Republican Bill?

By Laura Klivan : kqed – excerpt

In her office in Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, Dr.  Alice Chen pulled down a blue box she keeps on top of a file cabinet. She set it on her lap and leafed through a stack of thank-you notes, until she found one from a former patient that she wanted to read aloud.

“I feel enormously fortunate to have been granted such a willing and able team to support me during such a tough period,” she read.

The grateful patient who wrote those words was uninsured, but was still able to get some treatment at Zuckerberg at the time. That’s because Zuckerberg — and other taxpayer-funded hospitals across California —formed the medical safety net of last resort for 17 million uninsured Californians before 2014. That was the year the Affordable Care Act kicked into gear, which helped California lower that uninsured rate down to 7 percent…

“We are deeply troubled by the CBO’s finding that the amount of support provided for consumers to buy health insurance in 2020,  under proposed legislation would be only 60 percent of what is provided under current law,” Lee said in a press release.

Before the Affordable Care Act, 40 percent of patients at Zuckerberg San Francisco General were uninsured. Now it’s down to 3 percent, according to hospital CEO Susan Ehrlich…

Beyond concerns for patients, hospital staff members are worried about funding. Provisions of the Affordable Care Act added $125 million in revenue to the annual budget of the hospital and an affiliated network of neighborhood clinics.

“If Medi-Cal expansion is capped, then some of our patients will not be insured,” said nurse Philippa Doyle. Medi-Cal expansion provided coverage for more Californians than those traditionally included in the Medi-Cal pool. “Because we treat everybody, then our reimbursement will go down significantly, and we won’t be able to provide resources that we are currently.”…

Under the AHCA, public hospitals like San Francisco General are expected to lose tens of millions of dollars in government support every year…(more)