Sutter Health is classified as a tax exempt charity, yet operates outside of public view as if it were a "for profit" corporation. Sutter is nationally recognized for its profiteering, huge increases in executive pay, and charges for care that are up to 60% over market averages. If you are tired of overpriced health care, skyrocketing health insurance premiums, and increasing out of pocket costs, please join our effort by contacting Dr. Greg Duncan at email@example.com
Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Latest news on Sutter Health's plans for our region
Guest Editorial by former Sutter hospital employee
September 24, 2014
Latest news on Sutter Health's closed door decisions
Introduction by Dr. Greg Duncan:
editorial is written by Marcy Bohannon, former Sutter Coast Hospital
Medical Staff coordinator. Marcy discusses her experience with having
her husband transferred to another hospital by air ambulance--an event
which will become more common if Sutter Coast Hospital enacts the
decision by its Board of Directors to downsize to a Critical Access
We are facing two very different futures for healthcare in our region.
The Sutter future:
Downsize the hospital, outsource jobs, disband the local hospital
Board, and transfer hospital ownership to a Sutter corporation 350 miles
away, where Sutter executives make all future decisions on our hospital
Our model: Expand health services, add doctors, retain local jobs, and continue local hospital ownership and governance.
If you support our
model, please stop by my office on 1200 Marshall St. to pick up more
information and add your name to the thousands of residents who oppose
Sutter's plans for our community. We also need volunteers to help
distribute petitions, and we want to hear your experiences and ideas
about healthcare. Feel free to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Three years ago,
Sutter Health began their plan to transfer ownership of Sutter Coast
Hospital to Sutter's multi-hospital corporation in San Francisco.
Thanks to your efforts to oppose Sutter, Sutter Coast still remains a
locally owned hospital, and has not yet downsized to Critical Access
Sutter Health is now
the focus of a national crisis--healthcare costs. Locally we see the
impact in our hospital bills. Less well known are Sutter's other
decisions, made in the secrecy of the closed hospital Board room, where
Sutter Health executives bring their plans to our community. But thanks
to you, the word is getting out--our newsletter is read by more than
50,000 citizens statewide, from all backgrounds and political
Guest Editorial by Marcy Bohannon, Crescent City, CA
Critical Access Hospital: Benefit to Sutter Health and Impact on Us
As a retired employee of
Sutter Coast Hospital (SCH), I would like to share my thoughts on the
SCH Board of Director's decision to downsize SCH to a "Critical Access"
My husband and I know from
personal experience the burdens, both financial and personal, that a
family suffers when a loved one has to be transferred to a hospital in
another city to receive their care. Not only are there ground and air
ambulance fees, but no insurance pays for a family to travel to the
hospital of transfer, nor do they cover the cost of lodging for the
patient's family or the cost of the return trip home.
Our local SCH Board decided
to downsize our local hospital from 49 beds to 25 beds to qualify for
higher Medicare payments. It is not possible to know exactly how many
patients will need to be flown out for the lack of beds or lack of
hospital staff, but here is something that both Sutter Health and our
community agree on:
If Sutter downsizes
the hospital, more of our local residents and visitors will require an
emergency air flight to another hospital. In other words, both sides
agree it will be ugly; the only question is, how ugly?
Besides the huge cost,
transferring people to other hospitals is harmful because it often means
family and friends cannot be with their loved ones when they are
hospitalized. Separating patients from their family and friends is
harmful to the healing process. Keeping family and friends together is
very comforting for the patient, family, and the hospital staff, and
helps ensure the patient receives his or her usual medications.
Here is a final
point of agreement between our community and Sutter: Critical Access
will bring more money to Sutter Health. But the money does not stay in
the community. Every two weeks, Sutter Health removes all of
the "excess cash" from the hospital and transfers it to the "Sutter
Health Treasury," where the money becomes the property of Sutter
Health. No wonder Sutter Health wants to downsize us to Critical
Access. But what does that say about priorities?
Sutter Health is a tax
exempt charity. On paper, they are required to act in the public
interest. But in reality, Sutter's high charges for care and
skyrocketing executive salaries are benefitting Sutter executives, not
the public. We can stop Sutter's plans for us, and bring their actions
to light. But only if we speak up, and work together. Please share
your thoughts with Dr. Duncan.