California Healthline Highlights Recent Hospital News
Good Samaritan Hospital in San Jose and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital in Palo Alto are in negotiations to build a comprehensive pediatric hospital in San Jose, according to unnamed sources, the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal reports. Neither side has confirmed the talks, but industry experts say a deal could be reached to build a "hospital within a hospital" at Good Samaritan within weeks. The sources say the most likely scenario is a 40- to 60-bed facility owned by Packard with an intensive care unit at Good Samaritan.
Packard would pay for construction of the facility and rent it from Good Samaritan. Packard would maintain separate medical and administrative staff but would pay Good Samaritan for ancillary services such as laboratory tests.
According to the Business Journal, an agreement would conclude a multiyear effort among hospital leaders in Silicon Valley to build a comprehensive pediatric facility in the area (Cutland, Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal, 8/12).
The Bakersfield Californian on Sunday examined how some doctors at Kern Medical Center are earning more than twice as much as doctors in Los Angeles County's five public hospitals, despite the fact that KMC is "hemorrhaging" money.
According to records obtained by the Californian, the top paid doctor at KMC earned $459,000 in 2004, and she is expected to earn more in 2005. In addition, three other contract doctors earned more than $400,000 in 2004, and seven of the 80 staff physicians likely will earn more than that this year. Many of the doctors are earning more than the national average in their specialties.
KMC CEO Peter Bryan defended the pay, saying the salaries are needed to recruit and retain physicians in Bakersfield (Christie, Bakersfield Californian, 8/13).
Three radio stations recently broadcasted reports on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors' recent decision to formally consider closing Martin Luther King Jr./Drew Medical Center's pediatric, obstetric and neonatology units. Summaries appear below.
- KCRW's "Which Way, L.A.?" on Wednesday reported on the role of race and class in King/Drew's history and the potential closings. The segment includes a discussion with county supervisors Yvonne Brathwaite Burke and Zev Yaroslavsky and Connie Rice, co-director of the Advancement Project in Los Angeles and a civil rights attorney (Olney, "Which Way, L.A.?" KCRW, 8/17). The complete segment is available online.
- KQED's "California Report" on Wednesday reported on the supervisors' vote. The segment includes comments from Thomas Garthwaite, director of the county Department of Health Services; Yaroslavsky; and Supervisor Gloria Molina (Shafer, "California Report," KQED, 8/17). The complete show is available online.
- KPCC on Tuesday reported on the supervisors' meeting and decision. The segment includes comments from Garthwaite, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), Molina, Yaroslavsky and Sylvia Drew Ivie, daughter of Charles Drew, for whom the medical center is named (Rabe, KPCC, 8/16). The complete segment is available online.
Tulare County this week mailed more than 20,000 absentee ballots for an $85 million hospital bond measure that would nearly double the size of Tulare District Hospital and help it meet state seismic standards, the Fresno Bee reports.
If approved, the project would build a three- or four-story addition to the hospital and add 12 beds to the emergency department. The plan also would add six to eight patient rooms to the maternity ward, build three additional operating rooms and increase the general hospital's bed size by 30 to 40 beds.
The seven-year project would cost an estimated $100 million, including $15 million from the hospital's $22 million reserve. The ballot measure requires two-thirds voter approval to pass (Avalos, Fresno Bee, 8/14).