Tough Medicine, Part I

Grossmont Hospital Investigations Raise Oversight Concernts, Criticisms

By Sara McInerney, staff writer, and editor Miriam Raftery

September 14, 2008 (La Mesa)--Revelations of preventable patient deaths and alleged neglect at Sharp Grossmont Hospital have led some community leaders to demand increased oversight even as new complaints of patient care at Grossmont surface.

Grossmont is one of four hospitals in San Diego County assessed the maximum allowable fine by state health regulators for preventable errors that caused patient deaths, injuries, or were likely to cause serious harm.

Medicare and Medi-Cal are considering cutting their reimbursement for the hospital by October 15.  Federal, state and county regulators are currently investigating the hospital.   The hospital has submitted plans to correct deficiencies, including improving training and communications, and is awaiting a revisit by the California Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

Tough Medicine, Part II

Community Leaders Call for New Hospital in East County:
Long Waits in Grossmont ER, Patient Deaths Heighten Urgent Need

By Sara McInerney, Staff Writer

September 18, 2008 (La Mesa)--Government investigations into at least three preventable patient deaths at Sharp Grossmont Hospital have raised serious questions about the facility’s capacity to service the needs of East County’s growing population.

Closure of the El Cajon Valley Emergency (full service) Hospital and a Kaiser facility, both in El Cajon, have exacerbated pressures on Grossmont, East County’s only remaining hospital.  In addition, Grossmont ceased being a designated trauma center in the 1980s, leaving East County with no trauma center.  Designated trauma patients are now transported via helicopter or ambulance to Sharp Memorial Hospital in San Diego.