The Same Old Story – Local Hospital Fails to Be Local

Checking back on a story that has not changed in more than a decade is only the slender hope that there is something new to report. In the case of Southern California Hospital, it’s more of the same, and it’s all bad news, all the time.

At the top of our page, there is an ad from the union that represents the workers at Southern California Hospital.  The local Patch has an ad from the administration of the hospital. Our ad shows the rotting wall and exposed pipes that are just one of the infrastructure problems that hospital workers have talked about at city council meetings. Their ad says “Say No to Government Intervention.” 

Full disclosure  – Culver City Crossroads has a syndication agreement with Patch; they pay us to re-publish our local news. Patch has a much broader definition of ‘local’ – so, it seems does Southern California Hospital. Their ad says “Say Yes to Our Continued Investment in the health of the Culver City community.” 

Southern California Hospital is owned by a hedge fund that has drained every possible dollar out the place, and more than a few impossible dollars as well. 

When they bought the hospital, they changed the name from Brotman because around here, the name Brotman was synonymous with sub-standard and sometimes fatal ‘health care.’

When it was Brotman Hospital, the then-leader of the Chamber of Commerce joked about his health insurance having the designation “ABB” – Anywhere But Brotman. Decades of wrongful death suits gave rise to a persistent local avoidance of the place. 

The hospital has continued a long downhill slide after being re-branded, but the real kernel of the problem here is calling themselves local. Most locals wouldn’t go there if you paid them; the reputation is still that bad.  

After months of hospital employees coming to address the City Council, pleading for help during the pandemic, the finalization of the “Hero Pay” ordinance on the agenda for tonight’s council meeting has given rise to a backlash of administrative threats. 

At the General Plan Update meeting on Thursday, June 10, several speakers offered that they just wouldn’t be surprised if the city was sued over this ‘hero pay’ law. Speakers who seemed to be part of the administration of SCH, leaning in rather late in the the game – tonight is not the beginning of the discussion, but the final vote for approval.

So, rather than replace the bad pipes or fix the broken elevator, Southern California Hospital has the money to pay lawyers to prevent any further compensation going to the employees who have to take care of sick people in this building. 

The health care providers that have been investing in Culver City over the last decade – UCLA, Cedars-Sinai – have clean, well maintained clinics where locals actually book appointments. The availability of health care within city limits has boomed, and crossing into Los Angeles puts you less than an hour away from excellent hospitals with international reputations. 

That the people running SCH even think threatening to sue over hero pay is anything close to an effective strategy is a sad note on what very poor management choices they are making. 

Still. 

If you wanted to talk about investment, maybe fixing the broken elevator would be a place to start. Paying lawyers so you can avoid paying workers just funnels more money away from solving the actual problems.

And takes that broken reputation down another level. 

Judith Martin-Straw

Photo credit – ProPublica – see

https://www.propublica.org/article/investors-extracted-400-million-from-a-hospital-chain-that-sometimes-couldnt-pay-for-medical-supplies-or-gas-for-ambulances

Ting Internet is in Culver City!

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