California Healthline Highlights Recent Hospital News
Contra Costa Regional Medical Center this week has reduced by about half the number of beds in its inpatient, acute-care psychiatric unit, the Contra Costa Times reports. It is one of two such facilities in the county.
The county-owned hospital recently lost $2 million to $2.8 million in federal funding after its request for an exemption from Medicare reimbursement was denied.
However, county officials denied a link between the funding loss and the downsizing. Officials attributed the change in services to a focus on upgrading current psychiatric programs that treat patients in less-restrictive settings (Kleffman, Contra Costa Times, 11/7).
Board members of Chowchilla District Memorial Hospital on Tuesday were scheduled to meet to discuss options for regaining federal reimbursements and maintaining services at its skilled nursing facility, the Fresno Bee reports.
The federal government this summer revoked the hospital's certification for its general acute care facility, leaving the hospital ineligible for Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements for services at its skilled nursing facility and rural clinic.
Without funding, the nursing facility could close as early as Nov. 16, forcing 20 residents to relocate (Rodriguez, Fresno Bee, 11/4).
Doctors Medical Center this week passed an unscheduled inspection by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, the Contra Costa Times reports. The three-day inspection concluded on Thursday (Lochner, Contra Costa Times, 11/10).
Doctors on Monday reopened its emergency department to ambulances after almost two months on diversion. The hospital was forced to divert ambulances from its emergency department on Sept. 11 because of financial issues.
County supervisors last week approved a $20 million plan to keep the hospital open.
During the diversion, the ED continued to treat walk-in patients (Lochner, Contra Costa Times, 11/6). Ambulances were directed to nearby EDs at Kaiser Richmond Medical Center or Contra Costa Regional Medical Center in Martinez (Johnson, San Francisco Chronicle, 11/7).
Palomar Pomerado Health District last Friday announced that it purchased property in downtown San Diego to build a satellite medical center, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. The facility will offer services such as urgent care, physician offices and diagnostic testing.
Planning and construction is expected to be completed in about three years (Lou, San Diego Union-Tribune, 11/4).
Kaiser Permanente has begun work on a project to expand the ED at Roseville Medical Center, the Sacramento Bee reports.
The project will increase the size of the ED to about 42,000 square feet from about 10,000 square feet and will increase the number of beds in the ED to 52 from 24. The project will provide capacity to further increase the number of ED beds in the facility to 68.
The facility is scheduled to open in 2008 (Morita, Sacramento Bee, 11/9).
Voters on Tuesday rejected Proposition T, a $596 million bond measure to fund upgrades at Tri-City Medical Center to comply with state seismic safety standards, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
The measure fell two percentage points short of the two-thirds requirement. Voters in June rejected a similar bond measure by less than one percentage point.
The Tri-City Healthcare District, which runs the hospital, applied for a five-year extension on a state law requiring hospitals to meet earthquake standards by 2008. The district plans to ask the state whether it must close if it cannot meet the deadline (Rodriguez, San Diego Union-Tribune, 11/9).
Trinity County voters on Tuesday approved ballot measures that will create and fund a new hospital district, the Eureka Times-Standard reports. If the measures were rejected, the county-run hospital in Weaverville would have closed. It is the only hospital in the county.
Measure O will form the Mountain Community Medical Services District. Measure P will charge a tax on dwelling units and nonresidential developments. Revenue from the tax will fund the health care district (Arthurs, Eureka Times-Standard, 11/9).