CPMC! No Cuts in Skilled Nursing Beds!

San Francisco Gray Panthers
1182 Market St.  Room 203
San Francisco CA 94102
415-552-8800, graypanther-sf@sbcglobal.net

San Francisco Gray Panthers is extremely concerned about California Pacific Medical Center’s plan to eliminate 180 Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) beds as part of its Master Plan for radically changing its healthcare facilities in San Francisco.

San Francisco has a severe shortage of (SNF) beds that accept Medi-Cal.  A 1998 SF Department of Public Health study predicted that the City will have 92,000 more residents over age 65 in 2020 than in 2000, and that the City would have  a shortage of 2,380 SNF beds, assuming no existing SNF beds were lost. (Options For Laguna Honda Hospital White Paper)  But since that time, 732 SNF beds have been lost. The City’s own Laguna Honda Hospital, soon to re-open, stopped taking SNF patients in January 2008. (Fog City Journal, 7-7-2009). California Pacific Medical Center’s  planned closing of  its Skilled Nursing Facility, with 180 beds, would raise the total of closed beds to 912, a 24% drop since 1997. (SF Examiner, 8-4-2010) The Lewin Group projects San Francisco would face a 30% shortage of SNF beds overall over the next decade.

These SNF beds are almost entirely used by poor elderly or disabled patients on both Medicare and Medi-Cal, and are necessary for treating patients with strokes, heart and circulatory disease, hip fractures, cancer, respiratory diseases, and severe kidney diseases. (CPMC website) Without sufficient SNF beds in San Francisco, these patients will have to be placed in out-of-county facilities, away from the support of family and friends.  In addition, the care at stand-alone contracted-out facilities is often inferior to care in SNFs close by hospitals where more skilled medical expertise is close at hand.  In short, closing already-scarce SNF beds in San Francisco will hasten deaths for low-income San Franciscans.

Both the San Francisco Health Commission, and a Lewin Group report on CPMC’s Master Plan raised questions about provision of SNF care, as well as sub-acute care and inpatient psychiatric beds. (CPMC news release.)

It is our understanding that CPMC has said it plans to replace the 180 SNF beds it plans to close, but that specific plans are lacking beyond 38 beds at Davies and a commitment to establishing and additional 62 beds somehow, somewhere. (Health Commission Task Force on CPMC IMP, 3-2-2010) This promise, if fulfilled, would still only replace 55% of our badly needed SNF beds.

San Francisco Gray Panthers stands behind the California Nurses Association, community advocates, and elder advocates in demanding that CPMC issue specific, irrevocable plans for replacing all of the closed SNF beds, that new SNF beds be located in close proximity to acute care facilities, and that SNF patients in free-standing facilities not be displaced by CPMC’s SNF patients.  We also demand that the City of San Francisco not approve CPMC’s overall plan until these demands on SNF beds are met, as well as community concerns over the future of St. Luke’s Hospital, and the impact of CPMC’s planned main hospital on the Cathedral Hill neighborhood.

Michael Lyon, Co-Convener

Must-See article:  “Battle of Cathedral Hill,” by Bob Prentice, Community member of the Blue Ribbon Commission on CPMC’s Master Plan.

short link to this posting:  http://wp.me/s3xLR-1663

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