California hospital will scale back services to cut costs

Sonoma (Calif.) Valley Hospital, a 75-bed hospital that is part of the Sonoma Valley Hospital District, will close its obstetrics department as a cost-cutting move, according to the North Bay Business Journal.

On July 25, the hospital's board voted 4-1 to close the obstetrics department Oct. 31. The vote came after Sonoma Valley Hospital CEO Kelly Mather said hospital leadership recommended the facility end obstetrics and skilled nursing services and transfer home healthcare services to another local nonprofit.

Sonoma Valley Hospital recorded a $3 million net loss on revenue of $59 million in fiscal year 2018, according to recently released unaudited numbers. A decline in births at the hospital contributed to the hospital's loss. The number of births at Sonoma Valley Hospital dropped from 218 in fiscal 2010 to 111 in fiscal 2018, according to the report.

The board was initially slated to consider closing the hospital's skilled nursing department at the July 25 meeting, but the vote was postponed to give hospital leadership more time to get input from staff, physicians and residents.

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