We’re not stockholders….

So why is the Alameda Healthcare District (AHD) planning on spending the $5.5M in tax dollars we give them each year focused on serving off-island patient populations?

It’s right there in their business strategies. They intend to use the free money we give them, not to serve us better, but as collateral for loans and/or capital investments into business strategies that primarily serve off-islanders. This makes no sense. Moreover, I believe it directly contradicts the purpose and intent of the parcel tax.

See the video of the recent AHD meeting, where this is discussed, here.  I speak at 19:00 minutes. Hospital CEO rebuts me when she speaks at 24:50 minutes.

Why is the healthcare district so absorbed in the new Wound Care Center that can only serve a tiny percentage of any population (a small percentage geriatric patients with wounds that won’t heal) as a strategy and business focus. It makes no sense.

Spending the free money we give them on businesses that do not serve most of us, makes no sense. If we were stockholders, that’d be one thing. We’re not. The only thing we get back for our money is supposed to be improved healthcare services within our city that serve residents, and our visitors, in the City of Alameda.

Here’s what I suggest:  …..

1. Sunset the Emergency Department: it makes no sense to keep that open for fewer than 50 patients per day particularly when a significant number of those patients need urgent care, not an ED.

2. Open up Urgent Care Centers. This would serve ALL Alamedans and serve them well. The federal healthcare program is going to make urgent appointments with your primary care physician scarce, i.e., you will be able to schedule recurring appointments, but not same-day appointments.  Many cities ahead of the curve are focused on Urgent Care as a solution. And it’s a GREAT solution. And a profitable one.

3. Strategically placed Urgent Care Centers (UCC) would also serve off-island populations.  There are no UCC’s in neighboring Oakland and San Leandro. The nearest one, I think, is Hayward.

Seems pretty simple to me. Given the healthcare market conditions and trends, and given the purpose and intent of the healthcare district parcel tax, I don’t understand the current AHD strategies. I don’t understand why they are not pursuing a strategy that would be far more profitable and meet the healthcare needs of every single Alamedan.

Maybe you, dear reader, will attend the next Alameda Healthcare District meeting and let them know what you think too? What are your best ideas for the AHD spend of our $5.5M per year?  I’m sure the AHD board would like to hear about them. Next AHD board meeting in Monday evening, July 11th.


About Denise Lai

Alive. Swim (fly is the best). Walking with my dog (weims are the best). Life is good. Would prefer people understood negative externalities and prevented themselves from creating them. Feeling the love anyway. View all posts by Denise Lai

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