California Healthline Highlights Recent Hospital News
The Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development tentatively has approved plans to build the 28-bed California Heart and Surgical Hospital in Loma Linda, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reports. The Loma Linda City Council is expected to consider the hospital plans on Aug. 23.
Local public hospitals oppose the facility, which they say will draw away private insurance patients for high-cost procedures (Santschi, Riverside Press-Enterprise, 7/27).
California Pacific Medical Center might have to pay San Francisco more than $4 million in back taxes if it is found to have been ineligible for a property tax exemption it received, according to a preliminary investigation, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. San Francisco Assessor-Recorder Phil Ting on Monday announced that he will send a letter to CPMC, giving the hospital 30 days to respond to the investigation's findings.
The investigation asserts that CPMC is not eligible for the tax exemption because its revenue exceeded expenditures in 2001, 2002 and 2003 by more than 10%, the threshold for the exemption in most cases (Gordon, San Francisco Chronicle, 7/26).
Blue Cross of California this month identified three Fresno medical centers as "centers of expertise" for bariatric surgery, the Fresno Bee reports. Community Medical Center-Clovis, Saint Agnes Medical Center and Fresno Surgery Center are the three hospitals in the 19-member network to be identified by Blue Cross for quality and affordability in bariatric surgery.
Blue Cross will offer the list to its 7.6 million members statewide and recommend the hospitals for weight-loss procedures (Correa, Fresno Bee, 7/28).
University Medical Center has been fined $80,000 and given an "AA" citation -- the most severe citation allowed -- after a Department of Health Services investigation found that poor care in the hospital's skilled nursing facility resulted in a patient death last year, the Bee reports. According to state investigators, the hospital failed to follow written policy and procedure to protect patients from abuse and neglect.
In a statement last week, Tim Joslin -- CEO of Community Medical Centers, which operates UMC -- said, "An investigation was conducted and appropriate disciplinary action was taken regarding the staff nurse, who is no longer employed by Community" (Anderson, Fresno Bee, 7/23).