MD public hospital system avoids closure

The board of directors of Dimensions Healthcare System was preparing to shut down their flagship hospital, but it looks like the death sentence has been avoided for the moment. Dimensions has agreed to allow the county where it is situated--Prince George's County--greater control of the board of directors of Cheverly, MD-based Prince George's Hospital Center in return for cash and time.

Under the terms of the proposal, the county would give Dimensions $5 million, enough to at least keep the hospital open through March. However, it will not give Dimensions any more money without letting county execs take over a majority of board seats. The county would also require the hospital to allow a management consultant access to all five of Dimensions' county-owned facilities and financial records, and devise a cost-saving plan that satisfies them.

This is something of an "enough is enough" point in a relationship which has already proven extremely strained. While the hospital serves 180,000 mostly uninsured, poor residents, the county is still unhappy at how much cash it has taken to keep Dimensions afloat. To keep the hospital system running, Prince George's county has already had to kick in $50 million over the past four years.

Find out more about the county-hospital agreement:
- read this piece in The Washington Post