Sutter Health to close Berkeley hospital

Sacramento, Calif.-based Sutter Health will close Alta Bates Summit Medical Center's campus in south Berkeley, Calif., sometime between 2018 and 2030, according to the East Bay Times.

The acute care and emergency services offered at the hospital will be consolidated at the Alta Bates campus in Oakland, Calif.

Sutter is consolidating services to comply with a California law that requires hospitals to meet certain seismic standards by Jan. 1, 2030. The Berkeley hospital currently does not meet the required standards and Sutter does not have plans to retrofit the campus.

Rumors have swirled about the possible closure of the hospital for years, according to the report. In an October 2015 memo to staff, Sutter CEO Chuck Prosper indicated shutting down the hospital makes sense even without the seismic standards compliance issue.

"Regardless of the seismic deadline, we must adapt to changes in healthcare if we are to survive in today's world," he wrote, according to the report. "Operating two full service hospitals less than three miles apart is inefficient. In today's hypercompetitive environment, employers and consumers are choosing health services based on costs as much as quality. To excel we must be competitive."

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