California Healthline Highlights Recent Hospital News
Tenet Healthcare officials last week announced that the number of acceptable bidders for Alvarado Hospital has been reduced to between eight and 10 and that the remaining bidders intend to operate an acute-care facility at the site, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. Tenet was ordered to sell Alvarado by February 2007 as part of a settlement involving allegations that Alvarado executives illegally paid physicians for referrals.
Tenet declined to disclose the bidders, but Tenet spokesperson Steven Campanini said the remaining "interested parties" were for-profit hospital systems similar to Tenet, as well as not-for-profit health care providers (Clark, San Diego Union-Tribune, 7/15).
Tulare District Hospital has contracted with Tulare Anesthesia Associates to provide expanded anesthesia services at the facility, the Fresno Bee reports. In its initial year, the agreement will make three anesthesiologists available to the hospital. A fourth anesthesiologist would be available to the hospital after the first year of the contract (Fresno Bee, 7/21).
The University of California-Davis Medical Center will pay about $200,000 in overdue payroll taxes and penalties after an audit found that the medical center did not properly account for about $2.2 million in physician benefits since 1994, the Sacramento Bee reports.
William McGowan, acting CEO of the medical center, attributed the situation to bureaucratic errors, saying that continuing education payroll deductions, insurance coverage and retirement buyouts were inadvertently not reported as taxable income.
An internal financial audit detected the errors (Stern, Sacramento Bee, 7/21).
Disneyland on Monday announced a $1 million donation to Children's Hospital of Orange County, the Orange County Register reports. The outpatient center served 88,000 children in 2005 and hopes to increase that number to 135,000 by 2015.
Hospital officials said the money would be used to fund a $20 million renovation and expansion of its outpatient center in Orange. Disneyland is the first donor for the project (Jang, Orange County Register, 7/18).
Wilshire Oncology Medical Group's Corona Cancer Center held its grand opening Tuesday, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reports. The center started treating patients in May.
The center offers chemotherapy and radiation treatment and will allow patients to participate in clinical trials for new medications (Johnson, Riverside Press-Enterprise, 7/15).
Prime Healthcare Services, a health management company, on July 1 finalized its purchase of Doctor's Hospital Medical Center of Montclair, the Business Press reports. The facility will be renamed the Montclair Hospital Medical Center.
Prime Healthcare Chair Prem Reddy said the company would invest about $10 million in renovations and new equipment at the hospital. As part of Prime Healthcare's purchase, Reddy said the company will:
- Increase the number of emergency department beds by seven to 14;
- Consolidate the obstetrics departments and some laboratory services of the Montclair hospital and Chino Valley Medical Center, which Prime Healthcare also owns; and
- Merge Montclair's and Chino's administrative, finance, marketing, billing and medical records departments.
Glendale Adventist Medical Center has begun a three-part expansion to increase its number of beds from about 445 to 508, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.
The first phase of the expansion includes a seven-story, $108 million patient tower that is expected to open early next year. The second phase includes an inpatient radiology department and an access road through the medical center. The third phase involves a second patient tower, but funding has not yet been secured for that phase.
Hospital officials said the expansion is needed to accommodate a growing and aging population in the area (Tong, Los Angeles Daily News, 7/17).
Nurses and other workers at Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center in Thousand Oaks and West Hills Hospital this week voted to authorize a one-day strike because they say contract negotiations with the hospitals' owner, Nashville-based HCA, are not proceeding in good faith, the Los Angeles Daily News reports. Service Employees International Union United Health Care Workers-West represents the workers.
Union members at HCA-owned hospitals in Riverside and San Jose also have voted to authorize a one-day strike, which could involve as many as 4,000 workers at HCA's five hospitals in California.
The most recent contract expired June 30 (Leach, Los Angeles Daily News, 7/21).
The Oakland City Council on Tuesday granted final approval to Kaiser Permanente's plans to expand and renovate its medical center in Oakland, the Oakland Tribune reports.
The current hospital building does not meet state seismic safety standards. Kaiser plans to build a new facility across the street from the current building, as well as a cancer center, a new professional building, a new administration building and parking garages. The new center also will consolidate services that are spread throughout the area.
Construction is scheduled to be completed in 2020 (MacDonald, Oakland Tribune, 7/19).
Orthopaedic Hospital sold its downtown Los Angeles site to an apartment builder for $70.5 million, hospital officials announced Tuesday, the Los Angeles Times reports. The hospital facility does not comply with state seismic safety standards and likely will be demolished. Orthopaedic will move its services to the west side of Los Angeles.
A newer outpatient facility at the downtown site will continue to treat children with musculoskeletal disorders, according to hospital CEO James Luck. The money from the sale of the land and old hospital buildings will allow the hospital to "continue our growth and expand our research," Luck said (Vincent, Los Angeles Times, 7/19).
The health center at the University of California-Merced will be named Rajender Reddy Health Center after the cardiologist who donated $1 million to the project, university officials announced Monday, the Merced Sun-Star/Modesto Bee reports.
The health center will offer around-the-clock nurse advising, urgent and primary care services, immunizations and a pharmacy. It also will provide nutrition information, contraception, smoking cessation assistance, substance abuse counseling and stress management. The center is scheduled to open in October.
Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Jane Lawrence said Reddy's donation will allow the center to provide basic health care, health education and preventive services for students (Reilly, Merced Sun-Star/Modesto Bee, 7/18).