- Sutter Health will close Berkeley, CA-based Alta Bates Summit Medical Center in 2030, due to its lack of compliance with future statewide earthquake standards, KRON-TV reported.
- In a June 28 letter to Berkeley city council, Alta Bates CEO Chuck Prosper said the renovations necessary to bring the hospital up to code by Jan. 1, 2030, when new earthquake standards take effect, were not feasible.
- Unless Sutter changes its mind, Berkeley residents will lose the only emergency room in the city.
Still, Berkeleyites won’t have too far to go for medical care as Sutter operates a hospital in Oakland, just three miles away. Prosper said the aim over the next decade is to “appropriately size the new inpatient facilities at Oakland to ensure smooth throughput in an expanded emergency department and accommodate the current inpatient programs from Berkeley and Oakland.”
He added that technological advances are creating more demand for outpatient services and less demand for inpatient services.
In the past year, Sutter has added new primary care office space and an urgent care facility in Berkeley, and has invested more than $2 million in community partnerships to improve access to primary care for underserved individuals.
Prosper said that all services, physicians and clinicians will be transitioned to the Oakland campus.
But he said operating two full-service hospitals just three miles apart “is inefficient and inhibits our ability to be most affordable to patients. In today’s highly competitive environment, employers and consumers are choosing health services based on costs as much as quality. To excel, we must be competitive and offer exceptional services.”