Health Commissioner Tom Farley said this bill would force hospital owners to make their intention to close more explicit.
“While this enforcement mechanism has its limits, the safeguard will definitely make it more difficult for irresponsible owners to just walk away from a hospital,” Farley said.
He echoed Gym’s assertion that local authorities are better suited to oversee the hospitals in their region than state regulators are, especially when it comes to a transfer of patients and their medical records to other local health care providers.
By Nina Feldman
As to whether Hahnemann’s closure means patients are going without care, Philadelphia Health Commissioner Thomas Farley issued this statement Thursday:
“While the Philadelphia Department of Health does not have a systematic method for monitoring the receipt of medical care by former Hahnemann patients, informal reports suggest that these patients are receiving care at other area hospitals and clinics without major disruptions in care. Many of the former Hahnemann and Drexel medical staff are now working for these other hospitals and, in some cases, seeing the same patients in the new facilities.”
By Harold Brubaker
Eighteen regional hospitals in Bucks, Chester, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties, supported by the Health Care Improvement Foundation, Philadelphia Association of Community Development Corporations, and the Philadelphia, Chester, and Montgomery County health departments, have published a comprehensive report detailing community health issues that affect their patient populations.
“With the criteria that the institutions used to do the ratings, you think about what issues are having a big magnitude in terms of impacting a larger number of community members. And then you think about what’s actually on people’s minds, what they are feeling the burden of,” said Raynard Washington, the chief epidemiologist for Philadelphia’s health department.
The opioid crisis, he said, was at the top of both lists.
“It’s virtually impossible not to see it as a major health issue,” he said.
By Aubrey Whelan
The report focuses on communities and their needs, which meant going into neighborhoods and interviewing individuals served by the hospitals. Dr. Raynard Washington with the Philadelphia Department of Public Health says they learned it’s not easy for people to find the resources they need.
“A common theme is additional supports to help people navigate the very complex healthcare and health resource systems that we have,” Washington said.
By Hadas Kuznits
But according to a representative of Philadelphia’s Department of Public Health, about half the women who deliver at Hahnemann used the city’s free medical clinics prior to giving birth.
By Emily Scott
As for ending obstetric services, the Philadelphia Department of Public Health said in a statement: “The city is aware of the announcement and continues to work with obstetrics departments across the city to ensure that every pregnant mother and newborn infant gets the best care throughout pregnancy, delivery, and afterwards.”
By Sarah Gantz and Marie McCullough