California Healthline Highlights Recent Hospital News
Kaiser Permanente, Scripps Health and Sharp HealthCare are no longer considering purchasing Alvarado Hospital from Tenet Healthcare, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. As reasons for their decisions, the three organizations cited the:
- Price of the facility;
- Cost of required seismic upgrades; and
- Timeline for finalizing the agreement.
To settle a case involving allegations of improper physician recruitment, HHS Office of Inspector General in May ordered Tenet to sell Alvarado or lose eligibility to participate in federal programs, including Medicare (Clark, San Diego-Union Tribune, 8/10).
The San Ramon Regional Medical Center is planning a $12 million expansion to accommodate a growing population in the area, the Contra Costa Times reports.
The expansion includes an $8 million project to increase the number of emergency department rooms from eight to 21 and relocate the hospital's laboratory so it is adjacent to the ED. Hospital officials hope that the new location of the lab will improve turnaround time for test results.
In addition, the hospital will spend $3 million to $4 million to replace its internal computer system with a digital information system that includes digital X-ray technology.
San Ramon Regional, which is owned by Tenet Healthcare, also will make improvements to comply with state seismic safety standards (Benca, Contra Costa Times, 8/9).
A Superior Court judge on Aug. 4 finalized a ruling that a $456 million expansion of Sutter Medical Center cannot proceed because Sutter did not include information supporting its conclusions on the project's impact on traffic, parking and air quality, the Sacramento Bee reports.
According to Judge Patrick Marlette, the environmental impact report was inadequate, prevented the public from making informed decisions about the project and violated the California Environmental Quality Act.
Sutter and city officials said they are reviewing the ruling to determine the next step.
Larry Maas, assistant administrator of the Sutter District Master Plan, said he is confident the project will move forward.
Sutter CEO Tom Gagen in June said that project delays could cost an additional $4 million per month.
The ruling also could force the city to rescind Sutter's permit for the project, according to John Borsos, vice president of the Service Employees International Union's United Health Care Workers-West. The union filed the lawsuit against Sutter in January (Minugh, Sacramento Bee, 8/5).
The Tri-City Healthcare District Board on Wednesday voted 4-1 to approve the placement of a $596 million bond measure on the Nov. 7 ballot, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. Board members also approved $300,000 for marketing the bond measure, which is modeled after Proposition F, an initiative that failed by about 400 votes in the June 2006 election.
The measure would increase property taxes within the health care district by $23.40 per $100,000 of assessed value, with proceeds going to fund a three-phase construction and renovation project for Tri-City Medical Center in Oceanside.
The measure needs approval from two-thirds of health care district voters to pass (Rodriguez, San Diego-Union Tribune, 8/10).