More than 60 people attended last night’s Mendocino Coast Health Care District Board presentation to help the public better understand challenges ahead for MCDH under healthcare reform.
Among the attendees were Fort Bragg City Manager Linda Ruffing, Council Members Heidi Kraut and Doug Hammerstrom and County Supervisor Dan Gjerde.
The presentation was led by Board Chair Patricia Jauregui-Darland and Board Treasurer Sean Hogan.
With reform’s triple aim of achieving “Better Health, Better Care and Lower Cost”, there will be more emphasis on keeping patients well and out of the hospital, and financial consequences for hospitals not meeting government-set mandates and goals, Darland told the audience, while Hogan covered the financial impact of reduced insurance and government reimbursements.
Hogan said, “people tell us all the time that we should run the hospital like a business” which he said is a good goal, but difficult when dozens of federal and state agencies monitor and dictate how the hospital must operate. He presented a slide showing a maze of governmental agencies that oversee all aspects of hospital operations. Darland emphasized that the whole community will need to get involved to help people stay healthy and out of the hospital.
In the near future, she noted, the focus will be on providing outpatient services, teaching patients to care for themselves and keeping people in their homes rather than the hospital.