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Letter: Preserve Lodi Health’s independence

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Posted: Tuesday, August 5, 2014 12:00 am

In 1952, Lodi Memorial Hospital was supported by local citizens and their generosity to open an independent hospital serving all members of the community.

The article in the Lodi News-Sentinel on July 11 stated that Lodi Health, which oversees Lodi Memorial Hospital, was looking for a partnership with a major health care system to assure its financial strength moving forward.

The citizens of the Lodi community and the surrounding area need to support Lodi Memorial Hospital and assure its independence and continued availability to all of the public.

The danger I fear is that this partnership will create a majority controlling partner other than Lodi Health, eventually allowing Lodi Memorial to be taken over by an entity like Kaiser Permanente, Blue Shield or Sutter Gould, and unless you are a member of that insurer, you will not be allowed to use the services now provided by Lodi Memorial to all of the community.

An example: Kaiser took over hospitals in Manteca, promising to maintain them, and then either closed them down or reduced services to the local community, thereby causing individuals to have to travel outside of their community to get services that in the past were readily at hand in their home community.

Lodi Health and Lodi Memorial Hospital should maintain their autonomy and at least a controlling majority over 50 percent of the partnership. In so doing, it will protect the community and its hospital’s independence and services to all the Citizens of Lodi and the surrounding area.

I would hope that Lodi Health and Lodi Memorial Hospital will keep the town-hall agenda and fully disclose its intentions to the above financial moves, and take into consideration the public input to keep the hospital independent. It would be a shame, after all the public’s donations of the past decades, to be sold off to a private entity and lose this community asset.

Let Lodi Health know how you feel about this issue. You can email at www.lodihealth.org or mail to Lodi Health, 975, S. Fairmont Ave., Lodi, CA 95240. Telephone: 209-334-3411 or toll free: 800-323-3360.

Michael Lusk


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Welcome to the discussion.


  • Ed Walters posted at 6:20 pm on Wed, Aug 6, 2014.

    the old dog Posts: 638

    Kaur: Your lack of English prevents you from understand my point. The idea at Kaiser is to keep people out of hospitals by keeping them healthy, Kaiser is a not for profit hospital, if hospital care is needed, of course it is available. A for profit hospital will keep a people longer, thus for profit and payed for by medicare or insurance companies. If a members problem can be solved by his Primary Care Physician, no need to see a specialists, and can keep the cost down. Where as an member sent to see a specialists when there is no need drives up the costs. Perhaps now you understand, has nothing to do with the loss of people that are sick, doctors and nurses are well paid at Kaiser and the nurses at Kaiser received a 5 star rating. Of courses there are other hospitals that would want your business. its up the person which hospital best serves his or her needs.

  • Jien Kaur posted at 1:00 pm on Wed, Aug 6, 2014.

    Jien Kaur Posts: 377

    OK I use this discussions to help to learn the English so if the Mr Ed Walters can to the explanation about the 'lack of patience'? I think that doctors and nurses are not happy and lose patience with the sick people and this make the hospital part shut down?

  • Ed Walters posted at 12:42 pm on Tue, Aug 5, 2014.

    the old dog Posts: 638

    Lusk makes the statement that he fears a bigger hospital will come into Lodi and take control of the hospital, which could be true. The reason being that Lodi is a small hospital compared to others that are bigger, and is having trouble making both ends meet as was discussed in the LNS a few months ago.

    You state that Kaiser took over hospitals in Manteca, St. Dominick is the only one that Kaiser took control of. Due to a lack of patience part of the hospital was shut down, unfortunately leaving people affected by the closing of those parts of the clinic affected, while the hospital is still open for business.

    Any hospital operated by the "big three" must be earthquake proof, one of Kaisers hospital in Oakland was torn down and is being rebuilt to conform to earthquake standards. The Kaiser in Modesto which was recently built conforms to the latest earthquake standards. If a hospital does not meet requirements, it must be retrofitted or replaced. The hospital business is a tough business, I, along with my wife drive more now that before, from Stockton to Manteca to see our specialty doctors. My PCP is still in Stockton, he`s an outstanding doctor, however I fear I will loose him sooner or later as he moves up the ladder to achieve greater success, and I can`t blame him.


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