California Healthline Highlights Recent Hospital News
A Coalinga State Hospital spokesperson on Thursday said the facility is "returning to normalcy" after a patient boycott of activities to protest conditions at the hospital, the Los Angeles Times reports. Officials said some patient concerns are being addressed (Los Angeles Times, 3/10).
Patients housed at Coalinga carried signs and refused to participate in treatment and education programs, a hospital spokesperson announced on Tuesday (Anderson, Fresno Bee, 3/8).
Coalinga, which treats violent sex offenders, has about 1,500 beds, but the facility currently only has about 170 patients because administrators have been unable to hire sufficient staff. More than 400 patients are waiting to be transferred from Atascadero State Hospital near San Luis Obispo (Romney, Los Angeles Times, 3/5).
About 300 unionized workers at Eden Medical Center on Thursday returned to work after more than 95% voted on Wednesday to approve a contract, the Contra Costa Times reports (Kazmi, Contra Costa Times, 3/9).
Under the contract, wages will increase by nearly 10% over the next two years. Leaders of the Service Employees International Union, United Healthcare Workers-West said the contract also provides additional funding for training and education.
The contract will run through June 2008. The previous contract expired in June 2004 (Colliver, San Francisco Chronicle, 3/9).
Unionized workers on Feb. 28 began a seven-day strike, and hospital administrators did not let striking workers return to work until a contract agreement was reached. The lockout lasted two days (Contra Costa Times, 3/9).
The hospital agreed to pay striking workers for the lockout period (San Francisco Chronicle, 3/9).
Sequoia Community Health Centers is planning to open an eighth clinic after the number of patients treated at its clinics in Fresno increased by about 23% in the past year, the Fresno Bee reports. The clinics primarily serve low-income and uninsured patients.
In January Sequoia opened a seventh clinic site to meet patient demand. That clinic is the first Sequoia facility in north Fresno. The planned eighth clinic likely will be located in central Fresno (Correa, Fresno Bee, 3/7).
The Grossmont Healthcare District board on Tuesday voted unanimously to place a $247 million bond measure on the June 6 ballot, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. The measure would be used to help fund construction and renovation projects at the hospital, in part to comply with state seismic safety rules.
Two-thirds approval from residents of the health care district is required to enact the measure. The measure would increase district residents' annual property taxes by $19.89 per $100,000 of assessed property value for 30 years, or about $41 on average based on current home values (Krueger/Sanchez, San Diego Union-Tribune, 3/7).
Modesto city officials are working with a consultant to determine the scope of an environmental review for Sutter Gould Medical Foundation's proposed four-story medical complex, the Modesto Bee reports.
The project would replace the foundation's existing health care center and would be 45% larger. The new facility also would include an expanded urgent-care clinic and larger facilities for radiology and cancer specialists.
There is no timeline for starting or completing the project, and officials did not disclose anticipated patient volumes upon completion of the project. The facility currently serves about 700 patients daily (Carlson, Modesto Bee, 3/7).
Sutter Health is "seriously exploring" building a community hospital in Elk Grove as the city's population increases, the Sacramento Bee reports. The Sutter board of directors will discuss the proposal later this month.
If the plan is approved, the hospital would be the first in the city.
Hospital spokesperson Nancy Turner said the size of the proposed hospital will depend on a community needs assessment, but added that Sutter is hiring an architect.
Elsewhere in Elk Grove, Kaiser Permanente and Catholic Healthcare West are expected to compete for county approval to open the area's fourth trauma center (Kalb, Sacramento Bee, 3/7).
The Tri-City Medical Center Board of Directors on Wednesday unanimously voted to place a $596 million bond issue on the June 6 ballot, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. The bond, which would be financed through an increase in property taxes, would pay for the seismic retrofit and expansion of the hospital. The measure needs two-thirds voter approval to pass.
If the measure is approved, the renovations would take "at least five to six years under the best-case scenario," the Union-Tribune reports (Steinberg, San Diego Union-Tribune, 3/10).
Problems at the University of California-Irvine Medical Center so far have not hindered fundraising efforts for a new hospital, but the next few months will offer a better gauge, according to UCI head fundraiser Thomas Mitchell, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Since November 2005, the hospital has disclosed problems in its liver, kidney and bone-marrow transplant programs, and its cardiologists' credentials have been questioned, among other issues.
UCI raised about the same amount in the second half of 2005 as it received in the entire previous year. However, officials say they only have raised about half of the $50 million they need to construct a new hospital. The hospital is scheduled to open in 2009.
The recent appointment of Michael Drake as UCI's new chancellor could "inspire and motivate donors," according to Rae Goldsmith of the Counsel of Support and Advancement of Education.
However, Drake probably will have to offer signing bonuses or higher salaries and incentives to attract new staff and retain current staff, the Times reports (Rivenburg/Yoshino, Los Angeles Times, 3/5).