Sonoma West Medical Center Looks At Options To Deal With Financial Issues

The Sonoma West Medical Center has been seeing financial gains from its toxicology program, according to the institution’s financial report. However, board members and the hospital’s staff have agreed and accepted the fact that simple financial gain will not keep the hospital running in the long term, and are now looking for new ideas in order to gain independence and order to operate past toxicology, looking for a way to past being like a Southern California Rehab facility and embracing flexibility.

Alanna Brogan says that the company has to find strategies into creating a new business line and operations into something profitable and sustainable, and that part of the options being considered by the staff are to have the hospital handle in-patient psychiatry, subacute care and drug rehabilitation, like Southern California Rehab facilities and hospitals across the state.

According to the California Hospital Association, subacute patients are people who are not in need of acute care, but are too ill to be cared for and handled by the majority of skilled-nursing facilities. The CHA says that most of these subacute patients are mostly ventilator-dependent or respiratory treatments.

Brogan says another strategy the SWMC is looking into is to boost the radiology program by bringing in a dedicated radiology staff and improving interventional radiology. Other strategies that the hospital could benefit greatly from was starting up a center for breast care, developing a new recruitment strategy for employees, and coming up with a  Marketing and & PR plan.

The meeting held by the SWMC in order to find a profitable and sustainable future had a lot of ideas brought in, with a key part decided for the hospital is the improvement of  documentation, and, to that end, the SWMC is working with INNOVA Revenue Group, with improvements to billing already underway, with further improvements made.

Board Member Jim Horn, PDHCD, says that there are a lot of questions about the toxicology program, saying that the SWMC handles so much urine samples that insurance companies could look into and take revenue back from the hospital, due to the unusually high volume of samples the hospital handles on a usual basis.

Horn is not the only one asking questions about the SWMC, with the public making their concerns about the hospital’s operations very clear during the public comment portions of the SWMC’s meetings.