Tri-City Medical Center partners with UC San Diego Health to expand care
Mounting debt, staffing shortages and suspended services led to an important decision for Tri-City Medical Center in Oceanside: It will partner with UC San Diego Health to help strengthen the facility.
The Tri-City Healthcare District was presented with proposals from UC San Diego Health and Sharp HealthCare. The district board unanimously agreed to select UCSD Health on Thursday.
"We are so thrilled and excited for the opportunity to partner with the Tri-City District and with the leadership team, and the medical staff and the staff and the community," said Patty Maysent, the CEO of UC San Diego Health. "We look forward to collaborating with the Tri-City team to stabilize, expand and transform access to the hospital’s services and facilities so that all patients throughout North County can continue to access high-quality care locally.”
The future of Tri-City Medical Center had been unclear since the hospital suspended its labor-and-delivery unit earlier this year.
The hospital board said that was because of financial losses and low birth rates. But, at the same time, the hospital was searching for a willing partner that could help strengthen the facility.
A big factor in UCSD Health’s plan is bringing back the suspended labor-and-delivery unit, which Maysent said was a priority for many. UCSD Health also plans to expand services to include cancer care and clinical trials, and to try to prevent the migration of patients to other facilities.
"I think what really stood out about us is the idea that we just have a big vision for what can happen there in that district," Maysent said.
Details of the partnership still need to be worked out, and that could take until March.
UCSD will absorb Tri-City’s property, outstanding debt and staff, and will form a new governing board.
It's not new territory for UCSD Health, which has expanded to other facilities throughout San Diego and in Imperial County.
"We definitely have a lot going on," Maysent said. "But we have an unbelievable demand from patients right now, and we're severely underbedded to serve the population that's coming to us."
UCSD Health plans to invest $170 million during the first two years of the partnership.