HCA California hospital faces pushback on trauma center closure

Local stakeholders are pushing for the state of California to stop the planned summer closure of trauma services at Regional Medical Center in San Jose, The Mercury News reported April 18.

In February, 252-bed Regional Medical Center, part of Nashville, Tenn.-based HCA Healthcare, announced it will close its trauma center and ST-elevation myocardial infarction program Aug. 12. The hospital said it has seen a decline in the utilization of its level 2 trauma services and STEMI program "over the last several years." Exact figures were not provided.

Now the County of Santa Clara Board of Supervisors is pleading for the state to step in and deny the closure in response to a report about the service reduction prepared by the county’s Emergency Medical Services Agency. The hospital sees about 2,450 trauma patients each year, which accounts for about 25% of all trauma cases in Santa Clara County, according to the supervisors.

"The result in delayed access to essential trauma services could lead to longer transport times, delayed care and potentially increased death rates," Santa Clara County Supervisor Cindy Chavez, who represents the district that includes RMC and the surrounding area, said in an April 15 statement. "This closure would have a disproportionate effect on underserved communities of color and increase existing healthcare disparities in low-income communities in East San José."

HCA acquired Regional Medical Center of San Jose, formerly Alexian Brothers Hospital in San Jose, in 1998. The hospital dates to 1965.

Becker's has reached out to HCA Healthcare and will update this story if additional information is made available. 

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