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Orange County's healthcare crisis

September 29, 2007

Re "Fiscal woes jeopardize area hospitals," Sept. 23

One area The Times overlooked is that when Tenet Corp. pulled out, most of these hospitals were taken over by physicians who felt they could do a better job than a big corporate entity, only to realize they did not truly have the capacity to do so. There was one other ingredient to this mix that The Times failed to cover. The biggest competitors to hospitals in these markets are free-standing surgery and radiology centers that are also mostly physician-owned and would help keep a hospital fiscally sound. Instead of big corporations, maybe the real culprit is greedy physicians.

Amy Cavan

Los Angeles

This article quoted "industry experts" predicting that our company "could go bankrupt in the near future." This is news to the people running the company, including myself. These so-called experts were not identified, and we have consulted with no experts who have the knowledge or background to form such an opinion based on fact. Although I had numerous conversations with the writer detailing the vast improvement that has occurred in our four Orange County hospitals and assured him of our financial viability, the story left the misimpression that we are on the verge of closing needed services.

Our hospitals had an operating loss in excess of $15 million in our fiscal year 2005, which included only 10 months of reporting, and an operating loss of only $8 million for our fiscal year ending March 31. This was a dramatic improvement in only two years' time. This improvement was the result of much hard work and dedication by many experienced healthcare professionals. That is the real story.

Larry B. Anderson

President

Integrated Healthcare

Holdings

Santa Ana

The Times describes a significant community crisis while ignoring the root cause of the problem: illegal immigration. Any hospital administrator or emergency room surgeon in Los Angeles will say that the healthcare problem that swamps all others is the requirement that hospitals treat illegal immigrants.

James R. Selth

Redondo Beach

It is disheartening to hear these hospitals have to close because of fiscal reasons. The more hospitals that are forced to close, the more the ones that are still around will be overwhelmed with more patients. This is just an unacceptable situation. Where we are spending our money needs to be seriously reevaluated.

Kelly McGowan

Simi Valley

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