California Healthline Daily Edition

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

California Hospital News Roundup for the Week of March 30, 2012

California Pacific Medical Center, San Francisco

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee (D) and California Pacific Medical Center have reached an agreement on plans to build five new medical facilities in the city, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

According to the deal, CPMC will construct a 555-bed hospital on Van Ness Avenue. CPMC also will retrofit its St. Luke's campus and maintain it for 20 years as an acute care hospital with an emergency department.

In addition, the agreement calls for CPMC to provide hospital care for an additional 10,000 Medi-Cal beneficiaries, or one-third of the city residents expected to gain Medi-Cal coverage under the federal health reform law. Medi-Cal is California's Medicaid program. CPMC must treat the beneficiaries for 10 years, in addition to providing $86 million in annual charitable care.

The Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors must approve the deal before it can take effect (Coté, San Francisco Chronicle, 3/28).

Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System

A recent report by the California State Auditor found that members of the board of directors at Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System might have had numerous conflicts of interest between 2006 and 2010, Payers & Providers reports.

In addition, the audit found that the health care system did not put proper controls on payments and benefits provided to top managers, including now-retired CEO Samuel Downing.

The report made several recommendations, including that the health care system adopt formal guidelines for setting executive compensation and benefits and publicly post when the board will discuss compensation matters.

The Salinas Valley board said in a formal response that it would implement some of the recommendations. However, the board added, "The audit report distorts executive and board actions, pointing out the potential for conflicts in a range of circumstances without accurately reporting or analyzing readily available details that provide a more complete picture" (Payers & Providers, 3/22).

Shriners Hospital for Children-Northern California, Sacramento

Shriners Hospital for Children-Northern California recently completed a more than $200,000 renovation of its lobby, the Sacramento Business Journal reports.

The renovation includes new play areas for children and seating areas for parents.

Everett Thorne -- chair emeritus of the hospital board of governors -- led fundraising efforts for the project (Robertson, Sacramento Business Journal, 3/26).

Sutter Memorial Hospital, Sacramento

Sutter Memorial Hospital has been designated as a Baby-Friendly hospital after meeting standards established by the United Nations Children's Fund and the World Health Organization, the Sacramento Bee reports.

The designation was created for facilities that follow certain practices that promote breast feeding, such as training staff about lactation and helping women to begin breast feeding their infants within one hour of giving birth (Rubenstein, Sacramento Bee, 3/22).

Temecula Valley Hospital

The final beam has been placed on the frame of the $150 million Temecula Valley Hospital, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reports.

The 178,000 square-foot facility will be five stories tall and include 140 hospital beds. It is expected to open next year.

The hospital will include all-private rooms, six high-tech surgical suites and a 20-bed intensive care unit (Hill, Riverside Press-Enterprise, 3/22).

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