Health Care Partnerships: Preserving Access to Care

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“Our mission is to care for the poor and vulnerable. Regardless of their ability to pay, patients in the San Fernando Valley who seek care at the Providence Cedars-Sinai Tarzana Medical Center will receive care as good or better than what they could get by driving ‘over the hill’ to the hospital in Los Angeles.”

– Bernie Klein, Interim CEO, Providence Cedars-Sinai Tarzana Medical Center

When hospitals partner, vital health care services are preserved and local economies are strengthened. In many parts of California, especially rural areas and low-income communities, access to health care services is increasingly at risk. Nearly three-quarters of California hospitals have been severely financially challenged because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a newly released report by national health care consulting firm Kaufman Hall, financial struggles can affect a hospital’s to recruit clinical staff, invest in or upgrade technology and equipment, and fund the full range of health care services needed by a community. In the worst-case scenarios, serious financial problems have resulted in the closures of California hospitals.

Being part of an integrated system provides the financial backbone at-risk hospitals need to continue providing 24/7 patient care services to their communities. Many financially struggling hospitals are only open today because they partnered with integrated health care systems. 

In addition, hospitals are among the largest employer in any given community. If a hospital closes, well-paying health care jobs go away, and the community’s economy suffers. Integrated systems bring stability to organizations in financial peril and — as a result — many local health care jobs are preserved.