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Scripps Health Inaugurates Emergency And Trauma Center

The Barbey Family Emergency and Trauma Center is pictured in this undated photo.
Scripps Memorial Hospital
The Barbey Family Emergency and Trauma Center is pictured in this undated photo.

Scripps Health Inaugurates Emergency And Trauma Center
Scripps Health Inaugurates Emergency And Trauma Center GUEST: Chris Van Gorder, CEO, Scripps Health

Today Scripps health officially cuts the ribbon on a $33 million emergency trauma center. We now have -- there has been enormous pressure on emergency rooms throughout the county and how will this really the and who will benefit. Have Chris Grant quarter CEO -- Chris Van Gorder CEO of Scripps health. This is three times the size of your previous trauma center. Why is there a need to invest in this major expansion. We have seen a huge growth in emergency room visits. And they are being used in many cases to keep patients while they are looking for an appropriate place to put them for behavioral health payment. Sometimes we're patients waiting for transfer we have a new trauma center and a much larger emergency room they are just like regular patient beds inside the hospital for to another facility. With an affordable care supposed to cut down on the number of people emergent -- using emergency rooms? Are they supposed to be going to the doctors first? That's what we thought as well. I had predicted when the affordable care act passed that we would see a short-term spike in emergency room visits and that would stabilize and drop over time. We've actually seen the opposite. We've seen an increase in large part due to the expansion of Medi-Cal in the state of California one of every three people who are insured are insured under Medi-Cal. As a result I think these patients are having a difficult time finding primary care physicians and are seeking my care and emergency rooms. We have seen a spike that has continued ever since the ACA past. They may have insurance but can't find a doctor is that the issue? Medi-Cal pay is probably 49 out of the 50 states at the bottom. There are a couple of initiatives being used this year to help remedy that. Because of low reimbursement it's difficult for some of these patients to find providers to render their care. So some people think the only people in La Jolla will benefit for this. Is that true? And we have patients coming all over the place even from Orange County. If you are hurt any do a 911 call the paramedics will take you to the closest emergency room. Are trauma center touches from Camp Pendleton all the way south. While we don't think about emergency rooms and we don't want to go to emergency rooms want them to be available if we need them. So since San Diego has a very coordinated trauma system you might end up going to La Jolla even if you are further away. That's correct when the trauma system was created that death rate from trauma was over 20%. Now it has To 2% and now it is less than 1%. He may have to travel further to get to the local catchment area trauma center but your likelihood of survival is much greater because we have the specialized equipment and doctors on site 24 hours a day and specialized staff so you're much better off going to a trauma center and bypassing a facility that is not prepared to take care of Thomas. Is there something in the market that is incentivizing hospitals like yours to upgrade their trauma centers? I understand Medicare is acting -- asking patients how satisfied they are with their experience. Does that make a difference to you? It does but that's not the driver. It's a state law called SB 1953 that's requiring us to replace our facilities by 2030. As we replace our hospitals bring them up to the new seismic codes we are also upgrading our centers on the way. That was the largest driver for doing this. We started the preparations for building this emergency room more than 10 years ago. Long way for the affordable care act passed. A major contribution I guess to the trauma facility. I would like to thank you very much. That is Chris Van Gorder CEO of Scripps health.

Scripps Health cut the ribbon Friday on a $33 million emergency department and trauma center at theScripps Memorial Hospital campus.

The 33,000-square-foot Barbey Family Emergency and Trauma Center is scheduled to go into operation on Monday, according to Scripps Health. The facility, which includes 51 beds and four ambulance bays, is located on the first floor of the Prebys Cardiovascular Institute.

"Thanks to the generosity of the Barbey family, Scripps will be able to provide for the emergency needs of patients in the region for years to come," said Scripps President and CEO Chris Van Gorder. "By expanding our emergency and trauma services, we are strengthening our mission to serve the health care needs of our community while offering the highest quality of care possible."

The facility also includes four trauma bays that can be expanded to eight in case of disaster, four psychiatric beds, four isolation rooms for infectious diseases and state-of-the-art imaging technology.

The Barbey Family, which founded what's now the VF Corp. apparel company and includes some La Jolla residents, donated funds to get the project underway.

A major gift was also provided by the San Diego-based David Whitmire Hearst Jr. Foundation, to name the trauma area after Dr. Brent Eastman, a former Scripps chief medical officer and trauma surgeon. Hearst is a grandson of media mogul William Randolph Hearst.

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