Long Beach Community Hospital On Earthquake Fault Set To Close

MemorialCare has formally notified the City of Long Beach on their decision to fully terminate the lease at Community Hospital. Effective July 3, 2018, MemorialCare will no longer provide acute care, psychiatric care, or support the eight basic services provided by all hospitals in California, at Community Hospital.

“Community Hospital is a critical asset to our community,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “We are exploring every possibility to keep an emergency room and hospital on site, including State legislation, other possible operators, and potential solutions to the seismic challenges. While we are disappointed to hear the news of Memorial giving formal notice, the City’s efforts to find solutions and opportunities will continue.”

Months of negotiations between the City and MemorialCare preceded today’s action by MemorialCare. MemorialCare had previously determined that the active earthquake fault line under Community Hospital makes it infeasible to continue providing hospital services at Community Hospital. However, State agencies have not told the City that it is infeasible to meet State seismic requirements and provide hospital services at the location.

While the City is disappointed in MemorialCare’s departure from Community Hospital ahead of the June 30, 2019 date, as initially reported by MemorialCare to the Long Beach City Council at a public meeting on November 14, 2017, Long Beach appreciates the opportunity to have partnered with MemorialCare at Community Hospital and looks forward to working with Memorial in the years ahead at facilities throughout the City.

The City of Long Beach is exploring all opportunities to continue hospital services, inclusive of psychiatric care services at Community Hospital. The City recognizes the regional need for quality psychiatric care, and understand the importance of the co-located acute and psychiatric care services currently provided at Community Hospital.

At this point in time:

The City of Long Beach is actively engaged in discussions with various hospital operators who are interested in providing high-quality services at Community Hospital, while working with the City to meet State seismic compliance requirements; and

The City of Long Beach is working with Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell to seek an extension to the California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD) seismic compliance deadline for existing hospital operations, inclusive of the eight basic services and psychiatric care. The purpose of this request is to enable acute and psychiatric care services at Community Hospital to continue while a long-term solution for the hospital is developed and implemented. The goal of this legislative proposal is to preserve the public health and safety of patients, residents, and the community through ensuring high quality health care is provided by licensed and/or certified facilities, agencies, and qualified providers.

Pursuant to the Mayor and City Council’s formal request to renew the acute and psychiatric care licenses at Community Hospital, MemorialCare has indicated they intend to carry out the usual annual process for renewing the acute care license, which includes the behavioral health, or psychiatric care unit. The current license expires April 28, 2018, and the City has requested that it be renewed through April 29, 2019.

Many Long Beach residents have made it clear they would like to see the doors of Community Hospital remain open. The City of Long Beach will continue engaging with local and statewide stakeholders with an interest in supporting quality health care and seismic compliance at Community Hospital, including users and providers of the region’s emergency medical system, potential hospital operators, and workforce groups.

Community Hospital is a 158-licensed bed, general acute care and psychiatric care hospital located at 1720 Termino Avenue in Long Beach. To be a hospital in California means to have a duly constituted governing body with overall administrative and professional responsibility and an organized medical staff that provides 24-hour inpatient care, inclusive of eight basic services: medical, nursing, surgical, anesthesia, laboratory, radiology, pharmacy and dietary services. Community Hospital currently meets these basic requirements and provides psychiatric care services.

About the City of Long Beach
Home to approximately 470,000 people, the multiple award-winning and innovative City of Long Beach offers all the world-class amenities of a large metropolitan city while maintaining a strong sense of individual and diverse neighborhoods nestled together along the California coast. Long Beach is home to the Queen Mary, Aquarium of the Pacific, several museums and theaters, a highly-rated school district, Long Beach Airport, the Port of Long Beach, as well as many award-winning City departments such as Health, Parks, Recreation and Marine, Development Services and more. The City also has a highly-respected university and city college, two historic ranchos, five hospitals, five golf courses, 170 parks, miles of beaches, marinas, bike paths, and a Bike Share program.
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