Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

UCSD Medical Center in the news

Written By: Jason Shafrin - Oct• 18•06

The University of California San Diego (UCSD) is where I currently attend graduate school.  The UCSD Medical Center has been in some hot water lately.

  • The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) of the Department of Health and Human Services has alleged that UCSD has overcharged Medicare $48 million for pension costs.  According to a UCSD Guardian report (“Med Center…“), “…the OIG reported that the medical center overstated pension wage costs by $22 million, and overstated postretirement wage costs by $25 million. The newly-issued corrections propose a 19-percent decrease from the UC-released hourly wage averages, from $41.74 to $33.75.
  • UCSD has two Medical Centers.  The first is on the UCSD’s main campus in the affluent neighborhood of La Jolla.  The second center is situated in an the urban, central city Hillcrest area (only a few blocks from where I live).  The University has decided to begin closing down operations in Hillcrest while expanding service offerings at their La Jolla location.  According to the UCSD Guardian (“Study says…“) the plan may overburden some of the city’s hospitals located in poorer areas.  ” ‘We fully expect that once the UCSD Hillcrest Medical Center is gone as a full-service hospital, other hospitals in the area will see a gigantic influx in patients,’ said Don Stanziano, a spokesman for Hillcrest’s Scripps Mercy Hospital [another San Diego area hospital]. ‘We don’t have the capacity to be the only hospital in the area. To us, it’s a hostile closure.’ ”  The University responds to this criticism by citing the fact that the Hillcrest hospital has “aging” facilities and the La Jolla location is more “cost-effective.”

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