28 Nov I have been reading the portions of the agreement that pertain to closing hospitals or discontinuing services and will be describing them in my story. I’m sure there are reasons that lawyers write these things the way they do, but if a description in plain English exists, please do share it.
The agreement stipulates that member hospital services, which are described on schedule 7.13b, will be maintained for at least 5 years. For Mission Hospital and CarePartners, the time period is at least 10 years with those services described on schedule 7.13a. Any exceptions to these protected periods are described in section 7.13 of the APA.
Obviously, it is a very difficult if not impossible challenge to see into the future with perfect clarity. Standards of care can and will change; technology will change; and consumer preferences also can change along with many other things. Levels of staffing, for example, routinely change (whether up or down) as demand shifts and technology enables services to be provided more efficiently and effectively. As such, rather than trying to imperfectly define what “maintaining” means or to line item each and every possible service for time periods of 5, 10 or some other number of years, the services themselves are described generally and exception and enforcement processes have been defined (described above) for the rare event that it would be required.