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Spring Real Estate | P.21 APRIL 23, 2010 VOLUME 18, NO. 16 650.964.6300 INSIDE: WEEKEND | PAGE 16 El Camino Hospital takes $11 million hit this year OFFICIALS PLAN TO UP REVENUE THROUGH ‘PRODUCTIVITY AND EFFICIENCY MEASURES’ By Andrea Gemmet E MICHELLE LE Matt Lucero, right, and his nephew Jesse Lucero stand inside “Buddy’s Cannabis Patient Collective,” their recently opened medical marijuana club located on Bayshore Parkway. Pot club opens in Shoreline area, against city’s wishes WELL-HEELED LAWYER MATT LUCERO SAYS HE’S READY FOR LEGAL BATTLE believed the city would allow them to open dispensaries legally sometime in the next year. City Council members met in closed session on Tuesday night to discuss a potential lawsuit nie Quinn said the council had decided to “initiate an action” he City Council decidagainst the pot club, but declined ed Tuesday to take legal to say what that action would be action against the first until it actually happened. known storefront pot club in If the city does move forward Mountain View, with legal action, “I operated by a mulam absolutely ready timillionaire lawyer “We have very considerable financial for them,” Lucero who says he is ready said Wednesday. resources and the backing of some He said he believes for a legal fight. Lawyer Matt Luclaw supersedes really, really hard-hitting lawyers.” state ero and his nephthe city’s moratoew Jesse opened a rium. MATT LUCERO medical marijuana “We have very dispensary called considerable finanBuddy’s on April 10 in a ware- meant to close the dispensary. cial resources and the backing of house at 2632 Bayshore Parkway. The city considers the club to be some really, really hard-hitting Its opening came as a surprise to illegal under a moratorium on lawyers — people who have won city officials, and to other pro- pot clubs the council approved See POT, page 9 spective pot club operators who in February. City attorney JanBy Daniel DeBolt T INSIDE l Camino officials say there are several reasons why their financial picture isn’t as rosy as expected, but the bottom line is clear: The Mountain View hospital and its affiliates have a shortfall of about $11 million so far for this fiscal year. Hospital officials said the struggling economy is affecting hospitals everywhere, but that El Camino is taking swift measures to increase productivity and improve performance. “Because of our revenue performance, we’ve been living out of our savings account to a small degree. That’s a trend we don’t want to continue,” said hospital CFO Marla Marlow, who presented the year-to-date financials as of February during the hospital board’s April 14 meeting. While revenues are up compared with last year, they are still running below budgeted projections, Marlow said. “The investment income is down. We had to liquidate some investments to cover our costs for the month,” she said. There’s no shortage of patients, but El Camino is seeing a different mix of patients that is bringing in less revenue, Marlow said. Fewer babies are being delivered, fewer elective surgeries are being scheduled, and more ailments are being treated medically rather than surgically. El Camino is also seeing a higher percentage of uninsured or “self-payer” patients, Marlow said. Lower reimbursements for Medicare patients are also a factor. “The sky is not falling, but it’s imperative we get started on revenue enhancements and productivity improvements,” said GOINGS ON 26 | MARKETPLACE 28 | MOVIES 19 | REAL ESTATE 31 | VIEWPOINT 15 board member David Reeder. The $11.3 million in net income loss includes January’s $8 million write-down of uncollectible bills, said hospital spokeswoman Chris Ernst. Hospital officials made the decision in March to take a onetime write-down rather than to spread it out, she said. “While the year-to-date losses are $11 million, what we are doing about it is important to consider. We have already been putting productivity and efficiency measures in place in early winter,” Ernst said. “We’ve identified hundreds of initiatives that are already underway, with a benefit of $50 million to $70 million in the next nine months.” See EL CAMINO, page 14 Architect’s words inspire City Council .By Daniel DeBolt I n a council meeting intended to focus on the redevelopment of the Shoreline area Tuesday, famous green architect and designer William McDonough stole the show with a multimedia presentation full of big ideas and practical concepts. By the time McDonough was finished at 10 p.m., council member Laura Macias suggested the council take his ideas beyond the Shoreline area to the entire city. See COUNCIL, page 11

Mountain View Voice 04.23.2010 - Section 1

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