To make it in the new environment, hospitals need to compete with each other in new ways--not only by lowering prices but by increasing emphasis on certain kinds of care, such as maternity services.
Those competitive pressures were evident in the decision to merge Unihealth's Valley Hospital and Northridge Hospital.
Under the consolidation, the management staffs were blended and departments such as patient accounting and some lab services were combined, said Jeffery Flocken, chief executive officer of both facilities.
Equally important, though, is that managed care contracts will apply to both hospitals. The population near Valley is less affluent and older than that near Northridge. Northridge Hospital Medical Center, now known as Northridge Hospital Medical Center, Roscoe Boulevard Campus, turned a profit of $1.4 million last year. By contrast, Valley, now known as Northridge Hospital Medical Center, Sherman Way Campus, lost $3.8 million, according to preliminary figures from the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development, which may not include some revenue from Medicare patients.
Levinsohn of Triad is aggressively planning what he hopes will be a glittering re-emergence for Sherman Oaks Hospital and Health Center, starting with some fresh paint but including a new wellness center and community seminars.