Sonoma Valley Hospital To Continue Obstetrics ProgramAugust 8, 2014
Sonoma Valley Hospital has announced that it will continue its Obstetrics service. The continued viability of the OB service was questioned by Hospital Administration in late 2013 due to reduced community use and increased costs, notably the planned elimination of Medicare Disproportionate Share (DSH) funds which have underwritten a large part of OB program costs in recent years.
According to CEO Kelly Mather, the restoration of the DSH funds, coupled with other cost reductions in Obstetrics that the Hospital has identified, has led Hospital Administration to withdraw its recommendation to close the service. “We considered closure only reluctantly, and then because we faced a large projected annual loss. We are pleased that the DSH funds were restored and the Task Force we formed to analyze the situation has found a way to reduce costs to a manageable level.”
The Hospital reported that, based on current DSH funding, cost levels and delivery volumes, it is able to meet its goal of reducing the loss in OB services to less than $250,000 per year.
SVH has seen a steady decline in annual births since 2000, consistent with national and county demographics trends. Births at the Hospital have dropped from an average of 21 per month to 12 currently.