District hospitals to study Sutter plan

SONOMA COUNTY -- Capacity continues to top the list of community concerns on Sutter’s smaller, 70-bed hospital plan, according to a summary of comments presented during a Board of Supervisors’ workshop this morning.

District hospital officials announced during the meeting intentions to commence a study on the fiscal impact of the plan on the area’s district-run facilities.

Tuesday’s 9 a.m., two-hour meeting was the supervisors’ third workshop focused on Sutter Medical Center of Santa Rosa’s revised business plan submitted last November. The proposal includes the construction of a 70-bed hospital with a possible 29-bed expansion, as well as neighboring medical offices and a 28-bed, physician-owned hospital.

The Board of Supervisors will approve or disapprove the plan based on whether it meets Health Care Access Agreement obligations, which mandate Sutter provide certain services through 2016, or 2021 if the new hospital is built.

Today’s meeting was the smallest by far of previous standing-room-only gatherings on the topic. A majority speakers were in favor of the plan, though most were affiliated with Sutter either in construction of the new hospital or as an employee.

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