This is the start of something new.
MWN Community Hospital, LLC, (MWN, LLC) operator of Community Hospital Long Beach, announced Thursday, November 4 the beginning of a transition of the hospital’s acute medical services into the planning and development of the Long Beach Community Wellness Campus – a comprehensive wellness hub promoting mental and physical health.
With the start of this months-long transition, Community Hospital Long Beach will eventually phase-out the emergency department and acute medical services to realign under a new, provider-focused partner model. This will bring to the campus comprehensive behavioral health and wellness services, urgent care, and other medical and social programs that address community needs.
“The last eighteen months have been centered around the complex challenges brought on by the COVID pandemic. Delays in our hospital relicensing, limited availability of equipment, supplies and staff, and rapidly increasing costs for required construction have made operating an acute care hospital on the site unfeasible.”
John Molina, partner at MWN, LLC.
Since reopening earlier this year, first for transfer patients in January 2021 followed by the reopening of the emergency department in May, Community Hospital has faced numerous patient utilization challenges which put the continued need for a general acute care hospital into question.
In the middle of the global pandemic, with patient demands on hospitals and healthcare needs at a maximum, Community Hospital’s inpatient occupancy rate has averaged only 32.4%. Typically, only about 25 beds are used by patients day-to-day, out of 79 total beds currently licensed.
Overall, the Community Hospital emergency department averaged just 23.5 patients per day since reopening (May – September 2021), down from an average of over 90 patients per day prior to its 2018 closure. Surgeries are averaging less than one procedure per day and on average, only 1-2 cases per day in the emergency department actually need emergency intervention – with the rest likely able to be handled in a lower acuity facility, such as an urgent care center.
Additionally, the cost for construction to bring the acute care hospital into California-mandated seismic compliance, initially estimated at $40 million, is now projected to cost in excess of $75 million dollars.
“We are committed to keeping this as a healthcare campus promoting mental and physical well-being while addressing pockets of deep need throughout Long Beach. We truly have a unique opportunity, working with key partners and thought leaders, to plan for and secure a future that will allow this campus to answer our community’s evolving needs for decades to come.”
Gwen Ocampo, CEO of Community Hospital Long Beach
MWN, LLC aims to partner with the City of Long Beach, the Community Hospital Long Beach Foundation, and key local stakeholders to transition the hospital campus to provide an array of inpatient and outpatient services to respond to the most critical healthcare needs of our community.
Intended as a central hub for patients seeking health and wellness, the Long Beach Community Wellness Campus will bring together partner providers to help address the top priorities identified in the 2019 City of Long Beach Community Health Assessment, including chronic disease, aging and mental health. That same assessment found the importance of mental healthcare services as the second-highest priority community health issue identified by Long Beach residents.
“Our primary goal has always been to ensure that the residents of east Long Beach have access to quality healthcare services and the Long Beach Community Wellness Campus will answer critical community needs.”
John Molina, partner at MWN, LLC.
Meanwhile, the California Department of Health Care Access and Information reports the percentages of local adults diagnosed with depression and adults who are at risk for major depression in Long Beach are both higher within the city than Los Angeles County and higher than the rest of California.
Statewide, the adult hospitalization rate due to mental health is 55.9 people per 10,000 residents, while the same rate is 68.8 people per 10,000 residents across Los Angeles County. The mental health hospitalization rate jumps to 116.4 people per 10,000 residents in Long Beach.
With the start of this campus transition planning, MWN, LLC will partner with Professional Resources EAP and the Pacific Gateway Workforce Innovation Network to assist impacted employees. In addition, all affected employees will be offered counseling support, job placement and career coaching services.