Health Care Now Coalition
The Community and Caregivers United to Save DC General Hospital
DC General Hospital: The Facts
In response to a Request for Proposal (REP), city officials selected a bid by Greater
Southeast Hospital to offer the services provided by DC General. Here's what the Mayor is
not telling DC residents:
The actual cost of the Greater Southeast bid is unknown. The city
allows only $45 million to DC General, but is willing to pay $80 million PLUS substantial
undetermined costs to Greater Southeast, a private hospital.
The Mayor states that the Greater Southeast bid provides 7 hospitals and 20 clinics.
However, the Greater Southeast bid is theoretical with little evidence
that it can actually deliver 7 hospitals. The bid that was not selected -- Urban
Healthcare Associates -- would result in 70 clinics.
The broad-based medical community warned that in-patient services must remain at
DC General. The Greater Southeast bid ignores the medical community; the
bid that was not selected contains these provisions. Without appropriate access to the
services provided by DC General the eastern half of DC would become a healthcare
The parent company of Greater Southeast is financially unstable, has
not earned a profit, and is being investigated for fraudulent activity (Doctors Community
The agency that rates hospitals on quality of care (JCAHO) gave Greater
Southeast Hospital a rating of 84; DC General was awarded a rating of 94, well
above the national average. In addition, DC General is the third most efficient
hospital in the city.
The broad-based medical community supports DC General as the safety
net hospital - the American Medical Association, the Medical Society of DC, the American
Public Health Association, the National Association of Public Hospitals, and the DC Nurses
According to DC Department of Health director Dr. Ivan Walks, "A couple of
folks may exsanguinate [bleed to death] per five years on their way to the
[Washington] Hospital Center... That's what we have to do." (PBC Board of
Directors Planning Committee meeting, July 2000).
Diverting patients from DC General to other hospitals already has resulted in
loss of life, and could destabilize the city's private hospitals as in other
cities that closed public hospitals.
DC General has outstanding new management, Michael Barch, the former
CEO of GWU Hospital and Asst. Vice President for Medicine at Johns Hopkins. The CEO has a
sound plan called PBC2: it responsibly combines safety net providers with greatly improved
We can afford to keep DC General open: The terms of the federal
Appropriations Bill have been met, which allows access to $90 million allotted for DC
General. The Mayor could submit a supplemental bill to fund DC General. The city also
could establish a "sin" tax on tobacco and alcohol, use the "Rainy
Day" and Tobacco Settlement funds, and restore the $200 million reserve by reforming
the "Tax Parity Act of 1999." All that's lacking is the political will.
Mayor Williams: 727-2980 (voice); 727-0505 (fax)
Control Board: 504-3400 (voice); 504-331 (fax)