In a two-page written response, Jordan Battani, the President of the City of Alameda Health Care District Board of Directors, has responded to a recent reader letter about Alameda Hospital’s practices.
Last week, Action Alameda News published a letter-to-the-editor from Denise Lai under the heading “Alameda Hospital Business Strategies are at odds with our Right to Optimal Healthcare.” In her letter, Ms. Lai recounted an exchange with Health Care District Director Dr. Robert Deutsch – who is also running for re-election this November 2nd – wherein the two disagreed over mandated practices for paramedics treating a stroke victim within the City of Alameda.
The Alameda County EMS field manual, under the section title “Cerebral Vascular Accident,” (i.e. a stroke) states: “Certified Stroke Centers: The following hospitals have been designated as certified stroke centers. Patients should be transported to one of the facilities if possible. Exception: patients in the City of Alameda should be transported to Alameda Hospital.” Alameda Hospital is not listed as a certified stroke center in the manual, and is not listed as a certified stroke center on The Joint Commission’s website.
Ms. Battani, in her letter, wrote, “Ms. Lai’s commentary suggests [that] Alameda Hospital has somehow manipulated the emergency transportation protocols for the ambulance service and paramedics to maximize revenue at the expense of patient safety and care. This statement is categorically untrue…Relying on [Alameda County Department of Health Services] standards ensures that emergency patients in the County receive care at the closest facility that is qualified to provide it.”
Action Alameda News accepted Ms. Battani’s letter, but also asked the Hospital’s spokesperson if Dr. Deutsch could explain or clarify the comments attributed to him by Ms. Lai, which would seem to be contradicted by the County EMS Field Manual. We also asked if the Hospital could explain why the County EMS Field Manual would direct paramedics to take Alameda stroke victims to Alameda Hospital instead of one of the certified stroke centers in the County.
Alameda Hospital CEO Deborah Stebbins responded, confirming that Alameda Hospital is not a stroke center, and redirecting questions about the field manual to Alameda County. Action Alameda News has asked again for Dr. Deutsch to clarify the apparently discrepancy between comments attributed to him and the County field manual.