Earlier today, Doctors Medical Center (DMC) in San Pablo
closed and is no longer accepting patients. The hospital, owned and
operated by the West Contra Costa Healthcare District, has been running
at a deficit of over $18 million per year, and lacked the operating funds
to remain open.
The closure of DMC is a loss to all of us in West County and reflects the
failure of our federal government to adequately reimburse providers of
Medicare and Medi-Cal services. Eighty-percent of Doctors' patients
relied on these government plans, and the federal reimbursement
rate didn't cover the cost of providing services.
While many of us have fought to get these reimbursements increased, the
situation hasn't changed. Hospitals nationwide are closing for the same
Hospitals like Doctors, with few privately insured patients, struggle to
be sustainable. Survival is especially hard for stand-alone
hospitals, such as Doctors, who aren't part of a larger healthcare
For the past decade, I've worked very hard along with many others to keep
DMC open. When the hospital filed for bankruptcy in 2006 and was set to
close, I advocated for the County to provide funding to keep it open.
While we cut the hospital's losses in half and passed a parcel tax in
2011to bring in new revenue, this wasn't enough to stem the operating
losses and debt.
Click here for a chronology of Doctors Medical
I understand the frustration that efforts to save the hospital weren't
successful. Up until the last minute, many fought to find a viable
solution that would keep Doctors open and on sound financial footing.
As DMC's closure became more likely, steps were taken to make sure
everyone in West County has health care. Resources are available.
new urgent care clinic has opened at LifeLong Medical Care,
which is located across the street from Doctors, at 2023 Vale Road,
San Pablo. The clinic is open noon
to 8 p.m., seven days a week.510-231-9800
without private insurance (Kaiser, Blue Cross, etc.) needing health
advice is urged to call the County's
free Advice Nurse Health Line as a starting point
for getting services. The line is 1-877-661-6230,
option 1. This service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a