A proposal by Sonoma Valley Hospital to take over management of West County Hand and Physical Therapy Center could mean the facility could reopen as soon as September.
Sonoma Valley’s proposal was one of two received by the Palm Drive Health Care District, which had closed the rehabilitation facility in April. The district also closed Palm Drive Hospital because of financial troubles and declining patient rates.
The other proposal came from a private company composed of former employees of the Palm Drive physical therapy program, according to Daymon Doss, Palm Drive’s executive director. The Sonoma Valley proposal was selected because it was directly affiliated with a hospital and therefore could command better insurance reimbursement, he said.
“We understand this facility was extremely important to the community,” Doss said. “And we feel that Sonoma Valley understands the model and we hope it will be profitable.”
Doss said the two sides would be discussing details over the next few weeks and that Sonoma Valley would be discussing it in the coming weeks. Its next board meeting is Aug. 7.
Under the terms, Sonoma Valley would take over management of West County for an initial period of 18 months, after which Palm Drive would reserve the option to take the lease back and reimburse Sonoma Valley for some of its costs and expenses.
“If Palm Drive hospital reopens, we want to be able to bring the physical therapy facility back under our control,” he said.
Sonoma Valley would pay to lease the facility, manage it as an outpatient division of its hospital and return 20 percent of any profits to the Palm Drive Health Care District.
Sonoma Valley, which operates a hand and physical therapy facility near its 83-bed acute care hospital, has offered as part of its proposal to try to rehire former employees of the West County rehab facility.
Palm Drive and Sonoma Valley both receive most of their funding from a parcel tax on their residents.
The physical therapy program was located on Gravenstein Highway in a separate building from the main hospital and was among several medical services Doss said were “carved out” when the board suspended the hospital’s license.
In the weeks leading up to the decision to close the hospital, district officials and other experts hired to evaluate proposals, said the rehabilitation center had been one of the better performing divisions of Palm Drive.
You can reach Staff Writer Elizabeth M. Cosin at 521-5276 or firstname.lastname@example.org.