Proposal gives Attorney General authority to oversee hospital consolidations

Published by WASHINGTON STATE JOURNAL on 3/4/24 (Source)

Ian Mikusko of Washington State Nurses Association testified last year in support of the Keep Our Care Act, sharing some concerns he and his colleagues had about a merger in Yakima. He discussed Multicare acquiring Yakima Valley’s Memorial hospital, and the effects he had already seen on nearby facilities.

“We believe it is possible that this acquisition could be connected to the closure of two critical patient services at competing Yakima County hospitals,” Mikusko said. “Astria Sunnyside closed their cardiac unit, and Astria Toppenish closed their labor and delivery unit just two months later.”

Mikusko said he believes patients will die because of these mergers.

“This will result in local communities having to travel 30 to 45 miles to Yakima Memorial which is now fully controlled by MultiCare,” Mikusko said. “The closure of labor and delivery of Toppenish in particular has devastated the local community and resulted in the layoff of 13 nurses.”