A Press Release from the Sierra View Medical Center
A recent news story published on October 2, regarding the Sierra View Local Health Care District Hospital Board of Directors election touched on a few items that require clarification and rebuttal. The statements that were made about the hospital and its operation are not factual. In an effort to mitigate the inaccurate information given to the Valley Voice, the transparent facts are addressed for areas of concern that discredit the financial stability, quality of care and transparency.
The article states that “…while the [Sierra View Medical Center (SVMC)] CEO continues to receive raises as quality of care diminishes.” The CEO wages are adjusted annually in the month of July per contract. In 2018 and 2019, there was a 2% annual increase for the CEO salary. In 2020 the CEO proposed a recommendation to the Board of Directors to forgo the 2% increase offered to her. As a result, the CEO salary increase did not go into effect for 2020. In addition, the article states that quality of care has diminished. Quality of care has been a top priority for the hospital and continues to be the hospital’s focus with providing the community with the best care possible.
As for the statement referencing the COVID-19 grant, upper management was not compensated. Year-to-date, the hospital has received approximately $3.3 million in grant funding from the Federal Government. The COVID-19 relief funds are regulated and audited by the government. SVMC has utilized these supplemental funds to acquire supplies and medical equipment, including PPE; providing additional intensivist coverage in the ICU; and to offset the $8 million dollar loss in revenue that affected SVMC, largely due to the impact of COVID-19.
In response to hospital contracts, each clinical contract is evaluated regularly with specified quality metrics and goes through a review and reporting structure by various leaders who have direct oversite of each contract. Clinical contracts are reviewed by The Joint Commission during the accreditation process. The Joint Commission is the nation’s oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care. Any contract where a third party or clinician is not fulfilling their contractual obligation, can have action taken, including termination of the contract. Contracts are negotiated by the Contracts Administrator to ensure compliance.
The hospital releases contracts to any requesting party, according to the Public Records Request Act. The Board Bylaws allow for board members to have greater access to confidential information that is related to their duties as the Board of Directors.
Lastly, the article references a report written by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) regarding a case involving an anesthesiologist who left their post during a C-Section – it was a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA), not an anesthesiologist. The actions of the CRNA contributed to and resulted in the death of the mother 28 days after surgery. A “Root Cause Analysis” and plan of correction were completed. This was human error, not a systematic failure. The event was self-reported to CDPH and a financial penalty was issued. SVMC was not in immediate jeopardy of losing licensure. This incident is not a reflection of the team at SVMC. Our sincere condolences and thoughts go out to the family. The hospital has supported the staff involved throughout this difficult situation.
Internally, SVMC staff have been informed of the inaccuracies stated in the article and we have taken action to communicate the facts by bringing attention to the published article and providing truths. Our unwavering focus is to promote health and ensure access to high quality health care services. This will be achieved through partnership and collaborations and by being a good steward of resources to ensure we can continue to meet the health needs of the community.