San Francisco – California Pacific Medical Center, an affiliate of Sutter Health, has started evicting long-time residents from St. Luke’s sub-acute unit in an effort to close the unit permanently. St. Luke’s is one of the City’s major providers of Medi-Cal services and the only sub-acute facility in San Francisco.
Family members and residents were notified on June 6, 2017 of CPMC’s intent to seek “alternative” placement options for the residents, many of whom have resided at the Unit for a number of years. One family member’s son has resided there for over 24 years. Relocation options offered by CMPC to residents include Sacramento and Los Angeles – leaving already medically fragile residents to be stranded in another community many miles away from family and friends.
Unlike the general nursing home population, St. Luke’s sub-acute residents are in need of special services that cannot be provided in free-standing nursing homes, making them particularly susceptible to relocation trauma. These include respiratory patients and those on ventilators, and others who need inhalation therapy, tracheotomy care, intravenous tube feeding, and complex wound management care.
The proposed closure of St. Luke’s sub-acute unit is clearly about profits. Although sub-acute facilities receive a range of $870- $933 per day in Medi-Cal reimbursement for resident care (close to $27,000 per month) – CPMC/St. Luke’s will undoubtedly make even more money with short term Medicare reimbursements.
According to a 2011 report released by UC Hastings Community Economic Development Clinic, California Pacific Medical Center, including its St. Luke's campus, is San Francisco's most profitable hospital, yet it spends proportionately far less on care for poor residents than other private nonprofit hospitals in the city. The report noted that CPMC and St. Luke's averaged an annual net income of nearly $149 million between 2006 and 2010, almost 12 times the combined annual profit of the other private, nonprofit hospitals required to report to the city the amount of charitable care they provide to indigent and low-income residents.
Pat McGinnis, CANHR’s Executive Director, stated “This is an unconscionable action on the part of CPMC/St. Luke’s, and in San Francisco, of all places, we need to put people over profits. We call on our community and political leaders to stop the closure of St. Luke’s sub-acute unit.”
A Press Conference will be held on: Tuesday, August 15, 3 p.m.
Location: San Francisco City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place
The Health Commission Prop Q hearing will be held on: Tuesday, August 15, 4 p.m.
Location: 101 Grove St. Room 300, San Francisco, CA