Proposed bill may prevent Sutter Health from terminating services at California hospital

A proposed bill in the California State Assembly would challenge Sacramento, Calif.-based Sutter Health's plans to end hospital services at its Berkeley, Calif., hospital campus, according to The Daily Californian.

Assembly Bill 2874 requires nonprofit businesses operating healthcare facilities to receive consent from the state attorney general before closing a facility. The bill also requires healthcare facilities to undergo "reasonable efforts" to inform affected communities of changes in available services at least 180 days in advance. The bill passed out of the Assembly health committee April 17, The Daily Californian reports.

If passed, the bill would place more hurdles in Sutter Health's plan to end hospital services at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center in Berkeley.

Under state law, Sutter Health must seismically retrofit the hospital by 2030 to meet state standards. Officials said on the hospital's website the rebuilding process is expected to take up to 10 years to complete.

By 2030, Sutter Health aims to complete construction on an acute medical center and emergency department at the Alta Bates Summit Medical Center campus in Oakland, Calif. Once complete, all inpatient and emergency hospital services will transfer from Berkeley to the Oakland campus, according to information on the health system's website regarding the transition.

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