Home California State Assembly Passes Frazier Bill to Dissolve Los Medanos Community Healthcare District

State Assembly Passes Frazier Bill to Dissolve Los Medanos Community Healthcare District

by ECT

The Los Medanos Community Healthcare District is one step closer to being dissolved after the California State Assembly voted 70-0 to support a bill by Assemblyman Jim Frazier.

Assemblyman Tim Grayson (D-Concord) has signed on to be the principal Co-Author.

AB 903 will dissolve the Los Medanos Community Healthcare District and require the County of Contra Costa to be the successor of all rights and responsibilities of the district. AB 903 will also require the county to complete a property tax transfer process to ensure the transfer of the district’s health-related ad valorem property tax revenues to the county in order to operate the Los Medanos Area Health Plan Grant Program.

The Contra Costa Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) has approved of the dissolution of the existing healthcare district, and Contra Costa County already serves the communities within district boundaries.

The Los Medanos Community Healthcare District (LMCHD) was formed in 1948 to operate the Los Medanos Community Hospital. In rural communities, such districts were created to provide for hospitals that otherwise would not exist. LMCHD operated the hospital until 1994 when the hospital closed due to bankruptcy. Since then, LMCHD has not provided any hospital, physician, or emergency medical services. Instead of providing direct services, LMCHD funds third-party agencies that provide health-related programs.

“This bill effectively creates hundreds of thousands of dollars in funding for badly needed healthcare services in the region. A lot of this funding comes from the savings on LMCHD’s extremely high administrative expenses, which topped 60% in some years,” said Assemblymember Frazier. “That is simply unconscionable.”

“Comparable programs in the county average at about 15% admin cost, and a nearby healthcare district runs at a maximum of 20% in admin costs. Rather than lose over half the funding to wasteful administrative expenses, AB 903 dedicates those dollars to the community,” Assemblymember Frazier added.

This comes after a 2017-18 Contra Costa County Grand Jury Report recommended dissolving the district as it pays more in administrative costs than it does administering grants. In 2019,  Lamar Thorpe, who is now the Mayor of Antioch, was appointed as the Executive Director of the Los Medanos Community Healthcare District. According to a District agreement, he is making $96,000 per year.

According to the 13-page Grand Jury Report:

  • The Grand Jury also found LMCHD grant program administrative expenses are high compared to the amount spent on For example, in FY2016-2017, LMCHD spent 40% of its revenue on grants and 36% administering those grants, with the remaining 24% going to reserves. LMCHD’s FY2017-2018 budget allocates 42% for grant programs, and 51% for grant program administration.
  • The FY2017-2018 budget shows a general fund revenue of $1.0 million. Of that amount,$0.5 million is allocated to administrative overhead, $0.4 million to community health programs, and $0.1 million to reserves.
  • The Grand Jury found no evidence that LMCHD collaborated with the County, non-profit hospitals, or other local entities to avoid duplication of services. Several organizations received grants from both the County and This duplication of services occurred because the County grant administrator, Keller Canyon Mitigation Fund, supports some of the same programs funded through LMCHD. If the County were to assume administration of LMCHD grant programs, there would be no duplication of administrative expenses because the County grant process is already in place.
  • LMCHD receives nearly all its annual revenue from property taxes. It uses this revenue to pay for program and wellness grants, as well as administrative expenses.

In 2017, the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors voted 5-0 to dissolve the District with Supervisor Federal Glover stating the time for a health care district board of directors has come and gone. LAFCO has also rejected the bid for the District to stay open, however, a judge allowed it  Meanwhile, the hospital closed in 1994.

The District services Antioch, Bay Point, Clayton, Concord, Pittsburg and other local communities within the county.

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Banana Lady May 12, 2021 - 3:33 pm

So Lamar Thorpe has been paid $96,000 a year for doing “administrative” work, i.e., NOTHING! Now where is he going to get his income?

Rich May 12, 2021 - 4:12 pm

Good , it looked like a bunch of lazy administrators taking much needed funds from our community.

DE May 16, 2021 - 7:25 pm

Seems illegal. Monies need to be returned.

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