CPMC Cathedral Hill Rendering
Sometime today, California Pacific Medical Center and City Hall are expected to announce a compromise which will allow the development of a downsized Cathedral Hill campus to move forward and ensure the rebuilding of St. Luke’s over in the Mission.
With the paperwork having been filed to demolish the existing Cathedral Hill Hotel early last year but CPMC’s pre-construction teams sent packing last August, the City and Sutter Health have been wrangling over the rewritten terms for CPMC’s Cathedral Hill campus which was approved by Planning, but then appealed, ever since.
According to the Business Times, the expected compromise calls for CPMC’s Cathedral Hill complex to be downsized from an orignally proposed 555 beds to 274 while CPMC’s St. Luke’s hospital would be expanded from an existing 80 beds to 120.
UPDATE: The compromise has been confirmed with 304 beds at CPMC’s Cathedral Hill campus versus the originally reported 274. The revised plan will be reviewed by San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors on March 12. If approved, the project will likely take until the end of the decade to complete.
A Scaled-Down Cathedral Hill Campus And Expanded St. Luke’s [SocketSite]
Cathedral Hill Hotel Demolition Paperwork Filed, Poised To Fall [SocketSite]
CPMC’s Pre-Construction Teams Sent Packing [SocketSite]
Mayor Lee To CPMC: Save St. Luke’s Or Cathedral Hill Campus Is DOA [SocketSite]
City Hall, California Pacific to announce Cathedral Hill compromise Tuesday [bizjournals]

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by BillyBalls

    a rebuilt st. Luke’s of that capacity would be a political victory and a benefit to the community.
    a cathedral hill campus of 275 beds would be 12% smaller than existing 313 beds at Pacific.
    not sure i understand the logic. the inpatient activity moves to a smaller cathedral hill and pacific is refocused to ambulatory care, presumably?

  2. Posted by anon

    Don’t understand the fascination with rebuilding St. Lukes. Hospitals are regional facilities.
    I’d much rather see a 550 bed St. Lukes and housing or office at the Cathedral Hill site than to see significant underbuilding at both locations that we’ll have to live with for 50+ years.

  3. Posted by formidable doer of the nasty

    Not sure which “community” benefits from this absurd tree hugging of St. Luke’s but it’s certainly not the patient community. This political interference is absolutely infuriating.
    When it comes to hospitals centralization is good.
    All doctors, departments, and facilities in one location means patients don’t have to be constantly be sent across town for diagnostics or specialist visits and then back to whatever office they came from to discuss and receive treatment. Every non-routine doctor visit these days takes a whole day because you have to run from point A to B to C and back to A – which isn’t much fun when you’re healthy and when you’re sick it’s obviously worse.
    But apparently the mayor and whoever is greasing his palms on this particular issue are concerned with everything but the patient experience here. Aarghh!

  4. Posted by BillyBalls

    Anon,
    We agree regarding the under-building the cathedral hill campus. I suspect the square footage for the 500+ beds would be available, just not deployed from the onset.
    formidable,
    As a market share move, a closed St. Lukes forces those patients to SF General. From a public health perspective, decreased access is never a good thing.
    I agree with you about centralization – the reason facilities are all over the place has less to do with access and more to do with payers, both government (Medicare) and private.
    Imaging and testing reimbursements have been pummeled, and will continue to be reduced to the breaking point.
    The patient experience is central here; if you’re sick in the mission and need care, a closed St. Lukes forces you to SF General; certain patients would be less likely to make the trip, and would be sicker as a result.

  5. Posted by Van Nesser

    Rumor has it these plans were moving along smoothly till Ed Lee, stuck his nose into it and f*cked it all up.

  6. Posted by wc1

    “certain patients would be less likely to make the trip, and would be sicker as a result.”
    A hospital on every corner!

  7. Posted by Marten

    Where would the NIMBY’s rather have hospitals built. The Van Ness corridor is perfect for a huge hospital. It’s right on a major artery for mass transit and if you don’t want to drive on Van Ness, Gough and Franklin are right there too. Just boggles the mind.

  8. Posted by James

    “A hospital on every corner!”
    And the alternative exaggeration is a single giant hospital complex in, say, Berkeley for the entire Bay Area, and closing all others.
    Of course the ideal is somewhere between those, especially when considering elderly, low-income, and/or low-mobility patients.

  9. Posted by kg

    New renderings?

  10. Posted by Mark

    @Marten: the last time anyone checked Van Ness doesn’t have mass transit.

  11. Posted by anon

    The patient experience is central here; if you’re sick in the mission and need care, a closed St. Lukes forces you to SF General; certain patients would be less likely to make the trip, and would be sicker as a result.
    Good god, it takes like 10 minutes via Muni to get to Van Ness and Geary from the Mission. The distance from St Lukes to Geary/Van Ness is less than basically any distance between two hospitals in every suburb in the US.
    And as I mentioned before, I’d be totally fine with making St Lukes the big hospital and using the Van Ness parcel for something else. It makes absolutely no sense to have both, when hospitals are clearly something regional in nature, not like a flipping grocery store that needs to exist in every neighborhood.

  12. Posted by Dan

    I’d guessed that the new St. Luke’s would end up about 120 beds in a compromise, but I’m surprised that the Cathedral Hill hospital was downsized in half, smaller than the current Pacific campus. Sutter must have had new projections of hospital occupancy. Most of the growth in the city in the decades to come will be south of Market St., so it makes sense to beef up services in the southern half of the city. Since insured consumers can choose their doctors, and therefore their hospitals, if St. Luke’s expands its ambulatory care facilities as planned, and attracts new doctor groups, one could imagine it attracting far more patients.

  13. Posted by emanon

    No Mass Transit? There are 7 different bus lines within a block of the site!

  14. Posted by formidable doer of the nasty

    OK, so those low-mobility patients in the Mission need to be able to walk to St. Luke’s? Huh? Do they all live within a 2-block radius? Or are you expecting low-mobility patients to walk 15 blocks rather than get on a bus or in a cab to get to General or UCSF Mission Bay or CPMC in the same amount of time? Maybe we should refer to them as selective-mobility.
    None of this makes any sense. And if the mayor thinks hospitals are there to provide jobs or pedestrian life to a community then I hope he’ll get to spend a lot of time in one soon. That might give him some perspective.

  15. Posted by SocketSite

    UPDATE: The compromise has been confirmed with 304 beds at the Cathedral Hill campus versus the originally reported 274. The revised plan will be reviewed by San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors on March 12. If approved, the project will likely take until the end of the decade to complete.

  16. Posted by BobN

    Good god, it takes like 10 minutes via Muni to get to Van Ness and Geary from the Mission.
    Yeah, you take BART — if you’re in a hurry — then switch to the 22, then change to one of the Van Ness buses. An easy 10 30 minutes.

  17. Posted by anon

    ^So 30 minutes. That necessitates maintaining two hospitals? Ludicrous.

  18. Posted by Dan

    The commitment of CPMC to the Mission (or La Lengua) includes building a new ambulatory care center. The new doctors offices, plus the ability to get diagnostic tests and other services at St. Luke’s, will be convenient. As it is now, folks in the southern half of the city (especially with Brown and Toland) have to go to the CPMC Pacific campus for medical care and/or diagnostic tests, as the preponderance of medical services for that group are located in and around the Pacific campus.

  19. Posted by anon

    ^Sounds fine. Let’s expand St. Lukes to 500 beds and use the Cathedral Hill location for office or housing. No need to have two smallish hospitals rebuilt, when only one is needed. If south-side folks clearly need it closer to them, I’m certainly fine with taking a 20 minute trip the few times that I need a hospital.

  20. Posted by Dan

    That won’t work– CPMC doesn’t want to lose its Pac Heights and Marina patients to St. Mary’s, St. Francis, and UCSF.
    I’m guessing CPMC figured it didn’t need 555 beds on Van Ness, with trends toward shortening hospital stays.
    They only increased St. Luke’s by 40 beds, while reducing Van Ness by 250.

  21. Posted by billyballs

    bears mentioning that it is easier,and likely cheaper, to build a new hospital than bring an existing structure into compliance with the seismic guidelines.
    can’t simply flip flop developments.
    that is what is really driving this construction.

  22. Posted by billyballs

    the capacity will be there for future expansion. the lower initial bed number gives sutter a more effective bargaining stance with the california nurses association and the unions.

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