Council Connect Articles

Model Could Help Plumas District Hospital Reopen Obstetric Services, Patient Transfer, and PSPS Season


  • Plumas District Hospital
  • PG&E


In recent years, there has been an alarming and steady increase in rural hospitals closing their obstetric services due to various challenges. For this trend to stop and hopefully reverse, a new alternative must be created, and thanks to a change in state law and some creative thinking, Plumas District Hospital (PDH) has a great model that could help them reopen their obstetric services. Hospital Council is joining with PDH, Partnership HealthPlan, and the California Critical Access Hospital Network to secure a Health Resources and Services Administration grant to expand the footprint of the model and create a network of north state rural hospitals for low-risk births, and larger regional hospitals for medium- to high-risk births.

The inability to transfer complex patients, especially those with severe medical and behavioral health issues, remains a vexing problem. Hospital Council is leading efforts to secure placement and reimbursement that involve payers, hospitals, county behavioral health agencies, state and federal agencies, conservators, and advocates. Payment and placement are happening, unfortunately, at a much slower and more time-intensive pace than anyone would like.

PG&E has shared preliminary findings that this year’s wildfire season is, thankfully, likely to be at or below normal. Outages from public safety power shutoffs are still too early to predict, as they are subject to offshore winds that appear later in the year. Nonetheless, it is clear PG&E is well-positioned to reduce the number and duration of planned outages.