California Healthline Highlights Recent Hospital News
Alameda County Medical Center will receive a one-time $8 million cash designation from the county, the Oakland Tribune reports. The board of supervisors on Wednesday unanimously approved the plan, which could be finalized as part of the county budget as soon as Friday.
The funds will be deposited in a county account that ACMC leaders can access over the next two years. The county is drawing about $3.6 million of the infusion from a county budget surplus and the remaining $4.4 million from county reserves for capital improvement projects at ACMC.
Board of supervisors President Keith Carson offered the plan as an alternative to requests from unionized county workers who asked the county to exempt ACMC from interest payments on loans and leases for county-owned space where ACMC operates clinics. Carson said ACMC would work to enact a balanced budget without drawing on the funds (Vesely, Oakland Tribune, 6/23).
San Bernardino County officials have granted permission to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center to negotiate with nurse-recruitment agencies to hire foreign nurses, the San Bernardino County Sun reports. The hospital currently has about 80 vacant nursing positions, most of which are in specialized areas, including intensive care and labor and delivery (Cobb, San Bernardino County Sun, 6/18).
State officials said they will inspect Santa Paula Memorial Hospital on July 3 to determine whether the hospital will be permitted to reopen, the Ventura County Star reports. Local officials are hoping the inspection will come sooner to allow the hospital to open before the July 4 weekend (Wilson, Ventura County Star, 6/21).
The hospital closed in December 2003 after declaring bankruptcy. The hospital has the only emergency department in the area (Saillant, Los Angeles Times, 6/21).
The Ventura County Health Care Agency, which purchased the hospital, has hired staff, spent $4.5 million to remodel the hospital and last month received state clearance for occupancy (Ventura County Star, 6/21).
State officials originally scheduled the hospital inspection for the end of July but moved up the date at the request of local officials. Inspections typically take several days (Los Angeles Times, 6/21).
Tri-City Health District voters appear to have rejected a $596 million bond measure on the June 6 ballot to expand Tri-City Medical Center and make seismic safety improvements at the hospital, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. The measure needs 66.7% voter approval to pass and received 65.9% approval, according to unofficial results released Wednesday.
The Tri-City board has not officially decided what the next steps will be. Board Chair Larry Schallock said that there was not a lot of time to place a revised measure on the November ballot and that he was concerned that voters might reject the measure since other tax initiatives would be on the ballot.
The board met Thursday (Rodriguez, San Diego Union-Tribune, 6/21).
The Department of Transportation approved Twin Cities Community Hospital's plan to reconstruct its helipad to comply with state standards after the landing pad was closed last year, the San Luis Obispo Tribune reports. The hospital could begin receiving helicopters by the end of next month.
Twin Cities CEO Rick Lyons said the hospital will rebuild a fire access road and prepare the facility to accept the weight of Blackhawk helicopters that might carry patients from Camp Roberts or elsewhere.
In related news, French Hospital Medical Center, whose helipad also was closed last year because of safety violations, is finalizing plans to convert its helipad to an emergency medical services landing site. The designation would not require the hospital to comply with all state standards if the local public safety agency takes responsibility for the site's safety and maintenance (Curran, San Luis Obispo Tribune, 6/22).
Willits officials will use $4 million intended for future monitoring of fallout from a closed chrome-plating plant to fund construction of a new hospital facility in the city, the Santa Rosa Press Democrat reports.
Funds to monitor the possible toxic effects from the plant have been tied up in court for nearly 10 years, and it could be another decade before the plant's insurer pays the settlement, according to City Attorney James Lance.
The Willits City Council last week voted to approve a deal where PepsiAmericas would contribute the $4 million over two years, Lance said. The agreement must be approved by a judge before it becomes final.
About $3 million already has been raised to build a new $30 million hospital facility in Willits. Officials said they need $10 million to be able to borrow money or get matching grants for construction (Anderson, Santa Rosa Press Democrat, 6/19).