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Modern Healthcare - - Regional News -

DOWNEY, Calif.—

Downey Re­gional Med­i­cal Cen­ter debt was down­graded to C from CCC by Stan­dard & Poor’s and the rat­ings agency sus­pended the hospi­tal’s rat­ing af­ter the fa­cil­ity filed for bank­ruptcy last month and failed to release fi­nan­cial state­ments for the past three years. Man­age­ment at the 181-bed hospi­tal told the New York rat­ings agency that fi­nan­cial state­ments for fis­cal 2009 and the pre­vi­ous two years, would not be avail­able un­til Jan­uary 2010, said Ken Gacka, a Stan­dard & Poor’s an­a­lyst. The lack of in­for­ma­tion prompted the agency to tem­po­rar­ily sus­pend the rat­ing, which could be re­in­stated if the hospi­tal re­leases au­dited state­ments. Downey Re­gional Med­i­cal Cen­ter filed for Chap­ter 11 bank­ruptcy in the U.S. Bank­ruptcy Court of the Cen­tral District of Cal­i­for­nia in mid-Septem­ber, and cited dys­func­tional fi­nan­cial com­puter sys­tems and un­fa­vor­able in­sur­ance con­tracts as the cause of its fi­nan­cial dis­tress.

SACRA­MENTO, Calif.—

Sut­ter Health is merg­ing two of its foun­da­tions to form one large physi­cian group to serve the West Bay re­gion of Cal­i­for­nia, ef­fec­tive Jan. 1, 2010. The Physi­cian Foun­da­tion at Cal­i­for­nia Pa­cific Med­i­cal Cen­ter and Sut­ter Med­i­cal Foun­da­tion North Bay will be­come Sut­ter Pa­cific Med­i­cal Foun­da­tion, ac­cord­ing to Shaun Ral­ston, the com­mu­ni­ca­tions man­ager for Sut­ter North Bay who will con­tinue in that role af­ter the new foun­da­tion is es­tab­lished. Sut­ter Pa­cific Med­i­cal Foun­da­tion will have 226 physi­cians and 80 mi­dlevel prac­ti­tion­ers, said Ral­ston, who added that com­bin­ing the two or­ga­ni­za­tions will re­sult in bet­ter pa­tient care and op­er­a­tional ef­fi­cien­cies. Ac­cord­ing to the new foun­da­tion’s Web site, the Sut­ter Pa­cific Med­i­cal Foun­da­tion will de­liver health­care ser­vices in San Fran­cisco, Marin, Sonoma and Lake coun­ties, and will have “ad­di­tional out­reach lo­ca­tions.”

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