Grand jury urges sale of Marin General Hospital

A plan to resume public control of Marin General Hospital next year should be canceled because it places the financial health of the county's largest hospital at severe risk, the Marin County Civil Grand Jury concludes in a new report. Full Story
Marin Republican

Redmond, WA

#1 May 17, 2009
"The grand jury suggests, however, that Marin General could be made more attractive by stipulating that once a health care system acquires the hospital the healthcare district be dissolved" Of course the Marin Healthcare District IS the problem and has been for a number of years.

Because the pinhead Marin electorate has elected health care district members such as William Rothman and Nancy McCarthy who forced Sutter out, we find ourselves in a real predicament with a hospital that is going to start sucking up taxes faster than the Marin Board of Supervisors can spend taxpayer dollars on pet projects. Healthcare at Marin General is bound to suffer.

I should say YOU find yourself in a real predicament as I get most of my healthcare in San Francisco.
Gail

United States

#2 May 17, 2009
Any time a facility is being run by a public entity, its performance falls to minimal efficiency.

Last time I had an occasion to walk through San Francisco General Hospital, its physical plant was filthy. Thats not because of funding. It was because the public "managers" weren't as concerned about doing their job correctly as private sector managers.

Hiring 50 maintenance staff to accomplish the work of 40 and then complaining that the work isn't being done is the Governments method of "management."

Marin General should be run by a private entity or sold. I have zero faith in public institutions. Just look at the State of California and how they bankrupted themselves and now beg us for more money.
Linda Remy

Grand Rapids, MI

#3 May 17, 2009
This is the first grand jury report on Marin General Hospital that is well written, perhaps by someone who actually knows something about healthcare.

Nonetheless, as in every other past report on this subject, the grand jury again comes to the wrong conclusion. Their biases continue to show.

Sutter will leave. MGH will survive as a standalone facility. It will thrive. It will be a full-service hospital far into the future.
Jim

Mesa, AZ

#4 May 17, 2009
Gail wrote:
Any time a facility is being run by a public entity, its performance falls to minimal efficiency.
Last time I had an occasion to walk through San Francisco General Hospital, its physical plant was filthy. Thats not because of funding. It was because the public "managers" weren't as concerned about doing their job correctly as private sector managers.
Hiring 50 maintenance staff to accomplish the work of 40 and then complaining that the work isn't being done is the Governments method of "management."
Marin General should be run by a private entity or sold. I have zero faith in public institutions. Just look at the State of California and how they bankrupted themselves and now beg us for more money.
Actually your premise is false as can be seen where companies go in and privitise historical public entities, including water, sanitation, and health care.

Privately run, these entities are gutted, prices go up and the infrastructure fails. The cases are well documented. There is so much profit at MGH now that we cannot fail as a district hospital. We will also improve services to our county.

The naysayers should just get out of the way so those interested in having a successful hospital can do the work needed without people pulling on their coattails.

Lead, follow or get the heck out of the way!
Confused

Bangor, PA

#5 May 17, 2009
I read this article hoping to find why we are having a grand jury reviewing this matter and who called for it. The reporting failed to answer my questions and I can only guess from the report findings that there is political motivation on the part of Sutter supporters. Why else would we spend the county money on something that has already been decided by the Healthcare District officials whom the electorate have voted into office? And the finding that we eliminate any public participation in favor of privatization furthers my suspicions. Does anyone have the facts?
SA Local

United States

#6 May 17, 2009
I've only used the hospital for emergency care - I've never been hosptalized there, but compared to the many hospitals I've seen in my life, it's one of the cleaner and seems to be pretty well run overall. I know nothing of the prices or cost efficiency of the place but my care there was good.

Whatever happens, it would be foolish to lose this hospital, IMHO.

Since: Feb 08

Hana, HI

#7 May 17, 2009
Actually I read Sutter Health Corp. has been siphoning $35 million PER YEAR out of Marin General and sending it back to corporate HQ out of state (Texas, if I remember correctly). Privatizing Marin General was a rip off to all the resident taxpayers of Marin. We are going to throw a big party when Sutter gets the final boot out of Marin.
It seems like these communist/corporations want to take over health care and education, but want to make the public subsidize transportation and development. Socialize the costs, and privatize the profits. With the economic crash here now, I think people are starting to wise up to what created this mess.
WhoWillLeadUs

Mill Valley, CA

#8 May 18, 2009
The Grand Jury does one heck of job. Their reports and conclusions typically come across as common sense. Their recommendation on MGH, if followed by the supervisors, would certainly save the tax payers of this county countless dollars. But so far, in the few years I've lived in Marin, I haven't seen the supervisors do anything that seems to make any sense - maybe dollars and cents for them and those that back them, but not sense. The Grand Jury concluded that merging the Sheriff and Coroner would not save money or be more efficient, but I've seen multiple articles reporting how the board of supervisors are still pursuing the merger. Soon, the supervisors and the county administrator will have the quite the empire, and less and less voted officials to stand in their way. They already got rid of Michale Smith's voted position and made it an appointed one. This county will break sooner than the state of CA. I sure hope the supervisors pay heed to the Grand Jury report - I really don't want another bond or tax added on to my not so SMART tax.

Since: Feb 08

Hana, HI

#9 May 18, 2009
WhoWillLeadUs wrote:
The Grand Jury does one heck of job. Their reports and conclusions typically come across as common sense. Their recommendation on MGH, if followed by the supervisors, would certainly save the tax payers of this county countless dollars. But so far, in the few years I've lived in Marin, I haven't seen the supervisors do anything that seems to make any sense - maybe dollars and cents for them and those that back them, but not sense. The Grand Jury concluded that merging the Sheriff and Coroner would not save money or be more efficient, but I've seen multiple articles reporting how the board of supervisors are still pursuing the merger. Soon, the supervisors and the county administrator will have the quite the empire, and less and less voted officials to stand in their way. They already got rid of Michale Smith's voted position and made it an appointed one. This county will break sooner than the state of CA. I sure hope the supervisors pay heed to the Grand Jury report - I really don't want another bond or tax added on to my not so SMART tax.
The Grand Jury of Marin is a joke. Granted that they probably have to show a Marin address to volunteer for duty, but most of them know very little about anything, they are just retired citizens who think they are something special, and think the citizens will respect their reports. Personally I know much more about Marin County than the entire grand jury combined, what the grand jury says means nothing to us, now the Federal Grand Jury is a different story.
WhoWillLeadUs

San Rafael, CA

#10 May 18, 2009
Pulipaca:

California got into this mess by listening to the voted hacks - professional politicians. It couldn't be any worse than it is now if we actually took advice and direction from we the people. What's even more sad is that people such as yourself, who might possibly have great knowledge of how things work in the system, don't volunteer or run for office.
Timmy

San Francisco, CA

#11 May 18, 2009
The Marin General is a snakepit with some of the worst medical practitioners in the State of California.

Since: Feb 08

Hana, HI

#12 May 18, 2009
WhoWillLeadUs wrote:
Pulipaca:
California got into this mess by listening to the voted hacks - professional politicians. It couldn't be any worse than it is now if we actually took advice and direction from we the people. What's even more sad is that people such as yourself, who might possibly have great knowledge of how things work in the system, don't volunteer or run for office.
Thank you, but I am a sole proprietor of a small business, and that takes up all my time. I have no time left to donate, and as for me running for office, I don't think I can handle politics. The only thing that I can do now is to post on the forums, share my wealth of knowledge with the good people of Marin basically uncensored.
Did you know that Sutter Health Corp. has been siphoning off $35 million per year out of Marin General Hospital since 1995 ? And that they a non profit so they don't pay any taxes on all that money that was generated in MGH and sent out of state. That money is the profit that MGH earned and should have been invested in the hospital. Now after Sutter looted the profits, they want the hospital to repay them $15 million for the new data systems, they are still ripping us off even though we gave them the boot.
Sutter is allowed the tax exempt status on condition that the provide about $1 million per year at each hospital, a very good deal for them, but they got busted for not doing it. Instead they were charging MediCal and MediCare. So Sutter settled by donating about $500 thousand to the new County clinic in San Rafael, a good thing for Marin, but even sweeter for Sutter- STILL NO TAXES !

Since: Jul 08

Central Marin

#13 May 18, 2009
Pulipaca wrote:
<quoted text>Thank you, but I am a sole proprietor of a small business, and that takes up all my time. I have no time left to donate, and as for me running for office, I don't think I can handle politics. The only thing that I can do now is to post on the forums, share my wealth of knowledge with the good people of Marin basically uncensored.
Puli - if you want to make a difference, please get involved. You do have a weatlth of knowledge, but the percentage of Marin residents that read the stuff on these boards is miniscule. There are many ways one can get involved without running for office or volunteering.

I urge anyone that has a gripe, an opinion, or a better idea to write their elected officials or attend a public meeting and voice an opinion and/or ask questions.

One problem with blogs is the amount of misinformation on here is staggering. It's OK, because this is here for entertainment and to give bloggers something to do, and of course to attract people to the site so they can sell advertising. The effect on public policy of this or any other blog is near non-existent.

This is my opinion. I am as full as it as anyone so take it or leave it as you wish.

Goodday.
Miles

Oakland, CA

#14 May 18, 2009
Most of this was a given and do not at all understand why Sutter was removed from running the hospital when they were to pay the retrofit expenses. Perhaps simply the board ego.

I for one, would vote no on any bond issue to raise money for the hospital. If they can't keep it going with existing funds, let it go. There are other hospitals!
Lori Wood

Mill Valley, CA

#15 May 19, 2009
It was the 2006 settlement with Sutter that was negotiated behind closed doors that created this mess. At the time I warned everyone I could including the D.A. and County Counsel to stop the settlement from going forward. I met with supervisors and wrote letters to the IJ. I said it would weaken Marin General and it was an unconscionable giveaway to let Sutter out of their obligation to perform the earthquake repairs (per their lease)...but no one listened to me...and when I did run for the elected board in Nov. 2006, only 5000 people voted for me (I lost). I was labeled a "hot head" and ridiculed by the IJ's staff (they put a really unflattering picture of me on the front page of the paper). I worked at the District and saw the shennanigans going on and wanted to "do the right thing" and save what is a "public asset"--but most people don't even understand what the loss of a public asset like MGH would mean 10 or more years from now...it means absolute private control--no public input or transparency. Sutter was NOT removed from the hospital--Sutter sued the district to get out of their legal obligations to perform seismic repairs and the price for wiggling out of that $100M+ obligation was the concession they would leave by 2010 instead of 2015. In retrospect, the whole 2006 settlement (negotiated in meetings behind closed doorts--by the District's Walnut Creek attorneys, Dr. Severinghaus and Current board chair Sharon Jackson) was flawed as I pointed out in many public meetings but when I was speaking, people were hecklingme saying "sit down!"--I guess they thought I was being too hard on the District's attorney in my criticism. I recall asking the attorney (when he claimed Sutter was difficult to negotiate with) if he thought of calling in some other firms for help. He said no. I could write a book on this subject..but I'll end here.
just asking

Tallahassee, FL

#16 May 23, 2009
Lori Wood wrote:
It was the 2006 settlement with Sutter that was negotiated behind closed doors that created this mess. At the time I warned everyone I could including the D.A. and County Counsel to stop the settlement from going forward. I met with supervisors and wrote letters to the IJ. I said it would weaken Marin General and it was an unconscionable giveaway to let Sutter out of their obligation to perform the earthquake repairs (per their lease)...but no one listened to me...and when I did run for the elected board in Nov. 2006, only 5000 people voted for me (I lost). I was labeled a "hot head" and ridiculed by the IJ's staff (they put a really unflattering picture of me on the front page of the paper). I worked at the District and saw the shennanigans going on and wanted to "do the right thing" and save what is a "public asset"--but most people don't even understand what the loss of a public asset like MGH would mean 10 or more years from now...it means absolute private control--no public input or transparency. Sutter was NOT removed from the hospital--Sutter sued the district to get out of their legal obligations to perform seismic repairs and the price for wiggling out of that $100M+ obligation was the concession they would leave by 2010 instead of 2015. In retrospect, the whole 2006 settlement (negotiated in meetings behind closed doorts--by the District's Walnut Creek attorneys, Dr. Severinghaus and Current board chair Sharon Jackson) was flawed as I pointed out in many public meetings but when I was speaking, people were hecklingme saying "sit down!"--I guess they thought I was being too hard on the District's attorney in my criticism. I recall asking the attorney (when he claimed Sutter was difficult to negotiate with) if he thought of calling in some other firms for help. He said no. I could write a book on this subject..but I'll end here.
what do you think of bob brutyn?
still asking lori

Tallahassee, FL

#17 Jun 16, 2009
what do you think of bob brutyn? you sound educated and in the know. what about what he did to us?

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