Alameda Hospital

The Alameda Health Care District Board welcomed a new member and a new Alameda Hospital administrator on Monday, before launching into a spirited discussion about its future in the wake of an affiliation deal that handed day to day management of the hospital to Alameda County’s public health system.

The Alameda Health Care District Board of Directors unanimously picked Kathryn Sáenz Duke on Wednesday to replace Jordan Battani – at least for the next few months.

Jordan Battani, the longest-serving member of the board that governed Alameda Hospital and a key player in its affiliation deal with Alameda Health System, has resigned her seat. Her resignation was effective May 23.

“It has been my great privilege and pleasure to serve the community of Alameda, and the employees, clinicians, patients and staff at Alameda Hospital as a member of the board of directors of the City of Alameda Healthcare District,” Battani wrote her fellow board members in a May 9 e-mail. “Together we’ve brought the organization safely through a series of significant challenges.”

It’s official: Alameda Hospital is now part of the Alameda Health System, Alameda County’s public health system.

The affiliation deal, finalized at 12:01 a.m. Thursday when the hospital’s license officially transferred into Alameda Health System’s hands, capped an intense effort by the hospital’s leadership to save the financially failing facility from closure as its cash dwindled and a deadline for making seismic fixes loomed.

When Alameda Health System assumes management of the financially troubled Alameda Hospital, the list of potential costs they’ll face includes as much as $37.45 million in seismic and other potential repairs, $5 million in loans and a possible $4.3 million hit for shifting workers’ pensions when they become employees of the countywide public health care system.

Alameda Hospital’s governing board approved a deal Thursday that will see a countywide health care provider assume operations of the financially ailing hospital, a move hospital managers have said will keep the its highly desired emergency room open and provide the cash needed to perform near-term seismic upgrades the special district set up to operate it can’t afford.

Efforts to combine the operations of struggling Alameda and San Leandro hospitals with the public Alameda Health System cleared what proponents called a critical hurdle on Friday when Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill that addresses workers’ pensions.

Alameda’s financially ailing hospital is preparing to take another hit to its finances, in the form of a retroactive $450,000 payment for Medi-Cal cuts imposed in 2011 as a state budget-balancing move. The cuts are slated to go into effect in January 2014.

The cuts will be painful for Alameda Hospital, its chief executive officer said this week, though not as troublesome as they may have been for some of the state’s rural hospitals and facilities in San Francisco that would reportedly struggle to stay open due to the funding cuts.

Managers at Alameda Hospital are seeking approval of a budget that shows the hospital losing more than $1 million over the last six months of 2013.

The Alameda Health Care District Board will consider approval of the budget, which anticipates $42 million in net revenues and $43 million in expenses, on Wednesday.

“Hospital management have had ongoing financial challenges operating a small general acute care hospital with 24 hour emergency services in this very competitive health care environment,” managers wrote in a report to the board.

A longtime nurse with a wealth of both on the ground and management experience in a range of health care settings has been picked to serve on the Alameda Health Care District Board.

The board on Thursday selected Lynn Bratchett to fill out the remainder of Elliott Gorelick’s term.

“I’m very excited,” Bratchett said of his new volunteer gig on the board, which oversees Alameda Hospital.