Special Meeting of the Board of Trustees | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Special Meeting of the Board of Trustees

by Susie Vasquez, Appeal Staff Writer

Consultant Steven Goe described the hospital of the future for Carson-Tahoe Hospital officials on Monday as a facility that will cater increasingly to outpatient rather than inpatient needs.

After a lively debate, Carson-Tahoe officials told the San Diego consultant they supported a comprehensive regional medical center with both a cardiac and cancer center to help expand the hospital’s market share.

Goe represents HDR Engineering Consultants, hired by the hospital to draw up a blueprint of future needs and how they can be implemented.

Nearly 50 hospital officials, staff, and a few members of the public attended the three-hour meeting.

Goe told the group the traditional, centralized hospital will become a thing of the past in the face of today’s giant strides in medical technology.

For example, the five-day stay once required for gallbladder surgery has been replaced with a one-day procedure. This, along with dozens of other new technologies, reduces the need for inpatient beds and increases the need for outpatient services.

Diagnosis will continue evolving into noninvasive procedures that won’t require hospital stays and 60 percent of the tests currently performed in laboratories could be run in the home, leading to a mode of healthcare that is more flexible, adaptable and efficient, less centralized, Goe said.

With these advances, inpatient revenues are dropping while outpatient revenues for emergency, ambulatory, and specialty care are increasing.

Add to the equation the fact that Carson-Tahoe is an older plant in a gridlocked location and retrofitting it to accommodate newer technologies is an expensive proposition, Goe said. He said the Carson hospital is undersized, the nursing units are inefficiently designed, there are too few private beds and the rooms are too small in the operating suites to accommodate newly evolving technologies.

Sutter Health, Health Universal Health Systems and Triad – the health care entities considered for affiliation with Carson-Tahoe – recommended building a new hospital.

No decisions have been made but officials told Goe if new hospital is built, ancillary needs such as outpatient services would come first. A tertiary care facility with both private and semi-private rooms would be added later.

Goe will use the input from Carson-Tahoe officials to create a blueprint for future health care delivery to be presented before Carson-Tahoe Hospital trustees make a decision concerning the hospital’s reorganization or affiliation with either Universal Health Services or Sutter Health.

Trustees may make their decision at a special meeting March 1 at 5:30 p.m.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around the Lake Tahoe Basin and beyond make the Tahoe Tribune's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.