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Health Care Now Coalition
The Community and Caregivers United to Save DC General Hospital
“DC General Hospital: The Facts”
March 2001




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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 wasteland.

The parent company of Greater Southeast is financially unstable, has not earned a profit, and is being investigated for fraudulent activity (Doctors Community Healthcare Corporation).

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 Association.

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 primary care.

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)

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