December 6, 2012 - Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital (SNMH), like all health care providers nationwide, is seeing the impact of the changes to the healthcare delivery system. SNMH is driven by our 53 year mission "to contribute to the health of our community through the provision of quality services delivered in a compassionate and cost-effective manner, and to collaborate with others in the community to improve the quality of life." We strive to make sure our community has access to care close to home. In doing so, we must make sure that the right care is provided in the right setting at the right time.
SNMH has made the decision to close Transitional Care Unit (TCU), our 17 bed licensed skilled nursing facility, effective February 1, 2013. This non-acute patient care unit has an average patient length of stay of 14 days and was established in 1994. According to the local skilled nursing facility administrators, there is capacity in local facilities to admit additional extended care patients. Patient care and safety is always our top priority. We will continue to deliver excellent care in the TCU during this transition, and patient care will not be affected.
The decision to close the TCU is due to the changes in financial reimbursement for skilled nursing care, which does not cover the cost of providing that care in an acute care hospital facility.
The hospital employees have been notified of this decision and we are working closely with affected employees to identify other opportunities at SNMH and in the Dignity Health system for which they may be qualified. At SNMH, we anticipate reducing our workforce by approximately 21 TCU full-time equivalents (FTEs) effective February 1, 2013.
As we strive to meet the increasing and changing demand for care, we will continue to assess and align our resources to best meet the needs of our community. Sometimes that will require shifts in where care is delivered in order to extend the SNMH legacy of excellent medical care close to home for generations to come.
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