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New policy approved for Sharp Grossmont

Union Tribune (2008-08-16) Anne Krueger

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More Info: Local Politics, Grossmont Healthcare Board

Decision follows lapses at hospital

By Anne Krueger

August 16, 2008

LA MESA – Officials for the public district that oversees Sharp Grossmont adopted a policy yesterday requiring that they be quickly notified when the La Mesa hospital reports a patient-care problem to state regulators.


Background: Directors of the Grossmont Healthcare District, which oversees Sharp Grossmont Hospital, said they weren't notified about major patient-care mistakes at the La Mesa facility.

What's changing: The district adopted a policy yesterday requiring quarterly reports on patient care and immediate notice if a case at the hospital is reported to state health regulators.

The future: Sharp Grossmont is preparing for another inspection that will help determine whether it should continue to receive federal money.
Directors of the Grossmont Healthcare District made the decision after complaining that they were never told about recent medical and management lapses that led to at least three preventable deaths and put other patients in harm's way.

The hospital will lose all Medicare and Medicaid (called Medi-Cal in California) money by Oct. 15 if health regulators don't approve its turnaround plan. Michele Tarbet, CEO of Sharp Grossmont, said the hospital has submitted its plan and is awaiting another inspection.

The policy adopted yesterday mandates that hospital administrators provide quarterly reports about patient care and safety to the board in closed session.

It also requires those administrators to notify the board within a day of any patient-care incident that was reported to the state Health and Human Services Agency or the California Department of Public Health. That communication also will be confidential.

Sharp Health Care runs Sharp Grossmont under a 30-year lease with the Grossmont district. Jeff Scott, the district's attorney, said the district has no legal responsibility for the hospital's day-to-day operations.

A separate 20-member corporate board, including five representatives from the district's board, handles patient-care and operations issues. Four of the district board's members have appointed people to represent them on the corporate board, while district Vice President Deborah Mc Elravey said she will attend the corporate meetings.

Members of the corporate board are required to sign nondisclosure statements, but the district's new policy says the district's representatives may talk privately with district board members about the corporate meetings.

District CEO Barry Jantz said it was unclear what the district's representatives on the corporate board were allowed to disclose.

“Depending on who you talk to, different people had different opinions as to whether you could or couldn't say anything,” Jantz said.

El Cajon resident Raymond Lutz, a candidate for the 77th Assembly District, told board members that Jantz should have alerted them to the problems at the hospital.

Board President James Stieringer defended Jantz.

“Mr. Jantz needs no apology for the job he's been doing,” Stieringer said.

Anne Krueger: (619) 593-4962;

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Title New policy approved for Sharp Grossmont
Publisher Union Tribune
Author Anne Krueger
Pub Date 2008-08-16
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Keywords Local Politics, Grossmont Healthcare Board
Media Type Linked Article
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Topic revision: r4 - 16 Sep 2009, RaymondLutz
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