SONOMA and NAPA -- Sonoma Valley Hospital and Napa State Hospital have agreed on terms of a contract that would provide acute care for patients from the state-run psychiatric care facility in Napa, boosting patient volume up by 5 percent to 10 percent at the 83-bed hospital in Sonoma.

The contract, which begins on Sept. 1 and is estimated to be worth $3.9 million, will pay for the transfer of about 200 to 300 patients in need of acute-care to Sonoma Valley, and will help Sonoma Valley continue its rebound after posting an $850,000 loss in early fiscal 2010, officials said.

Kelly Mather, who recently took the helm as chief executive officer at Sonoma Valley, said the deal provides new revenue for Sonoma Valley Hospital while providing cost-saving measures for Napa State.

“Sonoma Valley Hospital is undergoing a positive transformation,” Ms. Mather said in a statement. “Our new agreement to care for Napa State Hospital patients is an example of our current, innovative approach to expand our services and increase our capability to carry out our mission to maintain and improve the health of everyone in our community.”

See previous coverageSonoma Valley explores contract with Napa State Hospital --- July 26, 2010

Napa State Hospital, Sonoma Valley explore collaboration --- July 16, 2010

The patients from Napa will each undergo evaluation before being transferred to Sonoma, Napa State officials have said. Transportation will be provided by Napa State as well. Care provided at Sonoma Valley will be in conjunction with Marin Individual Practice Association and will include both inpatient and outpatient services for the new patients.

Concerns were raised regarding security at Sonoma Valley, but hospital officials stressed that precautions have been taken and “extensive study and negotiations” occurred to ensure “optimum security,” Sonoma Valley Hospital said.

Napa State also contracts with Queen of the Valley Medical Center, a level III trauma center in Napa. A relationship there will continue for patients in suffering life-threatening or more sever traumas.

“Our administrative and clinical teams, together with their counterparts at Napa State Hospital, have concluded a careful assessment of the challenges and practices needed to ensure high quality care for this new stream of patients,” said Sonoma Valley Health Care District Board Chair Bill Boerum.

Napa State provided services for about 1,300 patients and had an average daily census of 1,153 in fiscal 2009 and 2010, according to the hospital. Approximately 80 percent of the patients are “forensic individuals,” meaning a majority are deemed not guilty by reason of insanity or are considered incompetent to stand trial. The remaining 20 percent are “civilly committed.” That means they are either gravely disabled, unable to provide themselves food, shelter and safety, or are a danger to themselves or others.

Sonoma Valley had more than 75,000 treatments conducted in the facility through fiscal 2010.