Administrator goes to Sacramento to fight for Southern Inyo Hospital

southerninyohospOn Friday, Southern Inyo Hospital Administrator Lee Barron reportedly headed to Sacramento to join other hospital officials to try to change Assembly Bill 97 which cuts Medi-Cal reimbursements. For Southern Inyo Hospital’s Skilled Nursing Facility, the bill would make a 46% cut, and Lone Pine officials say the cuts could lead to closure of the nursing facility, the hospital itself and its clinic. Officials urge citizens to immediately send letters to Sacramento.

Not only would AB97 cut Medi-Cal reimbursements by nearly half in the future but also demand retroactive pay back. For Southern Inyo Hospital, that’s $1.5 million. Plus, the annual revenue loss will amount to around $900,000 or 11.5% of the hospital operating budget.

Lone Pine Chamber of Commerce President Marian Seiter (Sight-er) said that if Southern Inyo Hospital has to cut jobs and services, “every single citizen in Southern Inyo plus all our visitors will be negatively affected.”  While hospital officials push legislators to see the devastation from severe Medi-Cal reimbursement cuts, others continue to fight through a lawsuit filed by the California Medical Association and many others. President of the CMA, Dr. Paul Phinney, was quoted as saying that the Medi-Cal cuts to providers will “have a huge impact on patient access to care.”

The lawsuit also says that the proposed Medi-Cal cuts could close hospitals. According to the CMA, there is currently a court injunction on the Medi-Cal cuts pending a full Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling.  (Contact emails, addresses and fax numbers follow for sending letters and comments.)


Senator Jean Fuller email – <mailto:[email protected]>
[email protected]

Congresswoman Connie Conway – <mailto:[email protected]>
[email protected]
Letters can go to:

Diana Dooley
Secretary, DHCS (Department of Health Care Services)
PO Box 997413
Sacramento, CA 95889-7413

Toby Douglas
Director, DHCS
PO Box 997413 , MS:0000
Sacramento, CA 95889-7413

Senator Jean Fuller
18th Senate District
State Capitol, Room 3063
Sacramento, CA 95814
Fax: 916-322-3304
Fax: 661-323-0446

Assemblywoman Connie Conway
34th Assembly District
State Capitol Office Rm 2174
Sacramento, CA 94249-0034
Fax: 559-636-4484

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12 Responses to Administrator goes to Sacramento to fight for Southern Inyo Hospital

  1. Rosie gilmour young February 27, 2016 at 7:02 pm #

    Were so blessed to have southern Inyo hospital and the clinic ❤ thank you bishop care center for taking care of our residents ❤ through our bumpy ride to get our hospital back open ❤ thank you

  2. Rural Mom February 27, 2013 at 11:42 am #

    I have lived in Lone Pine for a while, and I have school-aged kids. I would strongly re-consider living here if there were no medical services available for 60+ miles. I think lack of medical services would cause a lot of families to leave or not move here in the first place. The ripple effect of the hospital closing would be devastating for this area. However, I think the most disturbing part of this is the long term care residents that would have to find a new home. Where will they go, and how will they do with adapting to a new environment when they already have medical conditions that make them vulnerable? Studies show that this decreases mortality, and it definately decreases quality of life. This is not a step that will save money, it will really only hurt people. This isn’t the way to balance the state budget….by taking advantage of the elderly in long term care facilities.

  3. New Resident February 26, 2013 at 7:00 pm #

    As a new resident of the area, I visited SIH to check it out before deciding to move here. I can tell you categorically that I would NOT have moved here if SIH did not exist. The next closest hospital is 40-45 minutes away, critical time if one suffered a life-threatening injury or illness such as a heart attack. The community should be very grateful there is a healthcare provider locally. No hospital is perfect and all hospitals (read all businesses in general) have room for improvement. If customers are not happy with the services they should speak up, be specific as to what the exact problem is and address their concerns appropriately to the Administrator, Board of Directors and City Council (not just in a forum such as this.) I agree with those who have posted seriously, visitors will stop coming, tort reform is the solution to defensive medicine, the town will simply vanish or die out without a healthcare provider, certainly no new people, nor young people will stay here. This is a “critical access” hospital, so called because it provides “critical, time sensitive, community needed” care close to home. I hope the members of this community all stand strong against the beurocratic imbeciles that would close hospitals such as this and make people travel hundreds of miles to receive care or die trying to get there.

  4. Very Sad News February 26, 2013 at 3:24 pm #

    So are they going to close MT Whitney too, what if I have a medical issue while hiking the Mountains? how long will it take to get to me then to a hospital, 2-3 hours….I think I would be dead by then….or if I have a heart attack in my home in the Alabama hills, am I going to die???

    I guess the town will have to close too, who would want to come here on vacation and to have the misfortune of an accident…with no local medical services within a hours drive.

    • past employee March 7, 2013 at 9:02 am #

      Then they should have an outside review done of all operations including the elder care unit from environmental staff to administration and weed out obvious miss diagnosis, nepotism, and poor communication

  5. Jeremiah's stance February 26, 2013 at 12:40 pm #

    (Taking foot out of mouth).
    It would be a shame for residents to have to get there services elsewhere, since not everybody has the ability to travel.
    Get on the phone, write some letters, and do what we can to get the well needed help to SIH.

  6. Jeremiah's stance February 25, 2013 at 2:17 pm #

    So I guess all the people that choose not to go because of what they have heard and/or aware of have nothing to worry about? and those concerns that the public have are invalid?? Something has been wrong for awhile and I feel those who are currently employed shouldn’t let their bias stance ruin the progress that needs to be made at SIH!

  7. past employee February 24, 2013 at 3:40 pm #

    Until they change there ER doc.and the fact that they over test, I believe they should be shut down

    • Citizen of Lone Pine February 25, 2013 at 12:38 pm #

      SIH, is an excellent provider of healthcare services and has benfited many families and visitors in the community. Also past employee, dont let your personal bias make you such a selfish person that you would actually like to see families, visitors and our comminity suffer. Let us all fight for the survival of the hospital.

      • past employee February 28, 2013 at 6:48 am #

        From personal experience, elder care unit is run like a high school w/o teachers and on a number of occasions I have witnessed the ER doc miss diagnose problems cause he was to impatient to wait for labs, I have seen a hand full of cases like this and so with how many people the hospital sees in the ER you do the math. My thought is if they would run it more like a hospital/nursing home and less like high school they would have a chance, but currently I have yet to find anyone who would willingly go to southern Inyo for emergency or other treatmet. I myself would rather drive to Bishop in an emergency and trust me its not a short drive

    • dean February 25, 2013 at 12:55 pm #

      past employee – Defensive testing is a common practice throughout the current healthcare system. A physician will gladly run a test to detect a 1-100 disease if the other option is 3 years in court for missing a rare diagnosis.

      Tort reform is an important component of healthcare reform because it will lead to more evidence based medicine and less “testing for lawyers”.

      If you have credible evidence of violations and think they should be shut down read out to the Joint Commission; don’t post on a community form with nebulous attacks and no evidence.

  8. Trouble February 23, 2013 at 5:09 pm #

    And Mammoth is worried about their police.


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