Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Questions and Concerns at Pacific Hospital - Part 4


               The change in ownership of Pacific Hospital of Long Beach from Healthsmart Pacific to College Health Enterprises was delayed for a week but the employees were able to start reapplying for their jobs two weeks before that. It appears that the new official name is now College Hospital of Long Beach. With the change in ownership, the psychiatric unit which was being managed by the Memorial Counseling Associates has had a sudden drop in the number of inpatients because the doctors from that group have lost their admitting privileges. See, MCA has their own intake department and doctors group which funnel patients coming from Pacific Hospital's emergency department and other area hospitals towards the 3 psych units Pacific (in this case, College) Hospital has. College Health Enterprises have their own intake department called Access Services and their own admitting doctors. With the loss of MCA, the psych units have lost a lot of patients due to discharges and needs to reestablish a new patient base before the census goes up again. In hospital parlance, census is the number of patients who are being treated on the unit.
                 The consequence of having a low census is that the staff have to take turns getting cancelled from work due to staffing ratios. The hospital only needs a certain number of staff to cover a certain number of patients. Hospital workers know about this and I may be overexplaining myself for the sake of making it clear for non-healthcare workers. On the first official day of College Hospital running the show, it just so happened that it was my turn to get cancelled, which hasn't happened in approximately 2 years. Thus, I got a call from the nursing supervisor at about 5:30 p.m. on Monday notifying me so, because the census in the unit I work in, which has a capacity of 36, had dropped to 18. Ergo, not only are we in danger or being laid off, but while waiting for word if we are going to be rehired or not, we are already losing income because of the low census. Our first hope is that census rebuilding won't take too long by reassigning the psych patients who show up in the emergency department to the College Hospital doctors. The second hope of course is to be rehired.
                There should not be a similar problem with medical patients though, since there won't be a change in the admitting privileges of the doctors. The only change they are having is that Molina Healthcare will be managing the medical units. But I could be wrong since I'm not privy to that kind of information. Meanwhile last week, a representative from the labor union which College Hospital Cerritos employees belong to, contacted me via email after reading my blog, asking questions which I didn't know the answers to.

This wasn't meant to be a series of posts but it had become so as things have evolved. Here are the links to my previous posts regarding this matter: 
Public comments below, private comments: E-mail Me!


Anonymous said...

Who are the new psychiatrists from College? Where is MCA going to go?

Noel DLP said...

I have been gone for a couple of weeks and before that the only College Hospital doctor I've seen admitting is Dr. Valdez. MCA doctors probably can still admit their patients there but MCA is no longer managing the psych units.