California Healthline Highlights Recent Hospital News
The Alameda County Medical Center Board of Trustees plans to extend a contract with consultants to administer the county's public hospital system after the board's top choice for ACMC director rejected the offer, the Oakland Tribune reports.
The board plans to develop a transition plan for Cambio Health Solutions, which in February 2004 was hired to address ACMC's financial performance. Cambio's current contract expires Aug. 8, and board members hope the extension will last only a few weeks if talks with their second candidate go well (Vesely, Oakland Tribune, 7/14).
Tennessee-based Community Health Systems has reached a deal with the city of Barstow to build a new hospital in the High Desert. The $60 million, 60-bed facility will replace the existing 56-bed Barstow Community Hospital, the Business Press reports.
Barstow Community is owned by the city and operated by CHS. CHS has agreed to pay for construction of the new facility, which will be completed no later than Dec. 31, 2011. The hospital will include an expanded intensive care unit and emergency department, an electronic medical record system, electronic X-rays, and possibly a catheter lab and chemotherapy unit.
While adding only four new beds to the existing hospital, the new facility will be configured for expansions (Tucker, Business Press, 7/11).
California Pacific Medical Center has announced plans to build a $1 billion facility that will bring the hospital in compliance with state seismic standards by 2013, the San Francisco Examiner reports. The project, which must be approved by the city, would break ground by 2008.
The 539-bed acute-care hospital would move health care services from the existing facility in Pacific Heights to a more "high-density population area" of San Francisco with greater diversity and better public transportation, Bob Passmore, project development consultant, said.
An office and research tower will be included in the new facility (Dineen, San Francisco Examiner, 7/12).
Mendocino Community Health Clinics will pay $10,000 per month for the next 15 years under a $1.3 million settlement over claims that MCHC illegally billed Medi-Cal for patient services, the Santa Rosa Press Democrat reports.
The Department of Health Services had sought $4.7 million from the not-for-profit health clinic organization after a 2003 state audit found that MCHC over a four-year period had been collecting Medi-Cal reimbursements for mental health patients it had referred to private practitioners rather than treating at MCHC (Geniella, Santa Rosa Press Democrat, 7/8).
The Pediatric/Family HIV Center at Miller Children's Hospital has received a $4.5 million donation from the Bickerstaff Family Foundation to help fund the hospital's $135 million expansion, officials from Long Beach Memorial Medical Center announced Tuesday, the Long Beach Press-Telegram reports.
The center will be renamed The Bickerstaff Pediatric Family Center after the donors (Rogers/Jergler, Long Beach Press Telegram, 7/12).
The Helen K. and James S. Copley Foundation pledged $5 million to Sharp HealthCare toward the hospital network's $50 million fundraising campaign, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. The donation, which is the largest philanthropic contribution in Sharp history, brings the fundraising campaign to $34 million.
Sharp HealthCare officials said contributions to the campaign will go toward completion of the new Sharp Memorial Hospital, an ongoing $190 million project scheduled for completion in two years (Clark, San Diego Union-Tribune, 7/12).
In related news, Several hospitals and health systems in the state -- including Sharp, Scripps Health, the University of California-San Diego and the Veterans' Administration Medical Center in La Jolla -- are participating in the Institute for Healthcare Improvement's nationwide 100,000 Lives campaign by implementing patient safety best practices, KPBS' "KPBS News" reports. According to KPBS, the campaign's goal is for hospitals to save 100,000 lives by July 2006 by reducing preventable medical errors by:
- Deploying rapid response teams;
- Delivering evidence-based care for acute myocardial infarction;
- Preventing adverse drug events;
- Preventing central line infections;
- Preventing surgical site infections; and
- Preventing ventilator-associated pneumonia.
- Donald Berwick, president and CEO of IHI;
- Pat Hlavin, director of the emergency department at the VA Medical Center;
- Joseph Scherger, program director for the San Diego Center for Patient Safety and co-author of the 1999 Institute of Medicine report on medical errors; and
- Robert Smith, a physician at the VA Medical Center (Goldberg, "KPBS News," KPBS, 7/14).