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Morgan Hill
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September 23, 2021

SJ Medical Center closing

San Jose Medical Center will close its doors in 90 days,
officials announced Wednesday.
San Jose Medical Center will close its doors in 90 days, officials announced Wednesday.

The downtown hospital contains one of three acute trauma centers in Santa Clara County, and its officials hope to move their trauma center to Regional Medical Center in East San Jose, according to spokeswoman Leslie Kelsay. The regional center formerly was named Alexian Brothers Hospital.

Back in 2002, parent company HCA Healthcare announced that it would close San Jose Medical Center in 2007 and transfer services to Regional, which HCA also owns. That timetable changed, however, after San Jose Medical lost $12 million in 2002, $16.3 million in 2003 and is now on track to lose more this year than last, Kelsay said.

“This is not a decision we wanted to make,” San Jose Medical Center CEO Steve Dixon said in a prepared statement. “It is a decision forced on us – and other hospitals – by a health care system in California that is underfunded and burdened with expensive unfunded mandates, including nurse staffing ratios and seismic retrofitting requirements.”

One of the biggest financial burdens, according to Kelsay, is that the hospital is treating too many indigent patients and isn’t being fully repaid. State and federal payments haven’t been keeping pace with the cost of patient care, she said.

“The fact that our patient mix is three-out-of-four Medicare, Medi-Cal or uninsured is a really big factor,” Kelsay said. “Hospitals lose money on every Medi-Cal patient that they care for. Uninsured patients typically pay very little or nothing for the cost of their care.”

Over the last two years, Kelsay said the hospital’s expenses rose by 23 percent while its revenues rose by 4 percent, Kelsay said.

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