California Healthline Highlights Recent Hospital News
Barstow officials have proposed selling nearly 20 acres of land to Community Health Systems to build a 60-bed hospital to replace Barstow Community Hospital, which does not meet state seismic safety standards, the Daily Press reports.
The new hospital would be located across the street from the existing hospital and cost an estimated $50 million to $60 million. The planned hospital would double the size of the current emergency and intensive care departments and include space for chemotherapy and a catheterization laboratory.
An agreement reached between Barstow and CHS officials requires the new hospital to be built by Dec. 31, 2011, and to "provide substantially the same services presently offered" (Shackford, Daily Press, 12/17).
Beverly Healthcare Center officials expect renovations to create a 50-bed late-stage Alzheimer's disease unit will be completed in January, the Fresno Bee reports.
The renovation will cost about $250,000.
Some patients in the hospital's current 30-bed Alzheimer's unit have already been moved to the new area.
The hospital also has acquired new strength-training and rehabilitative exercise equipment through an agreement with Nautilus (Correa, Fresno Bee, 12/20).
Natividad Medical Center CEO Chad Chadwick on Dec. 16 outlined a three-phase savings proposal to reduce a $15.6 million budget deficit at the hospital, the Monterey County Herald reports.
The first phase, which is expected to be approved by the hospital board Jan. 6, includes measures such as modifying staff schedules to meet patient demand to save nearly $1.3 million for the remainder of fiscal year 2005-2006. In addition, hospital officials said they could save about $1.2 million during this fiscal year by renegotiating payment rates with insurance companies.
In FY 2006-2007, the changes could save the hospital $4.8 million.
The second phase would eliminate 16 full-time positions at the hospital, while the third phase would close the hospital's residency program (Salinas, Monterey County Herald, 12/17).
An expansion of facilities in the Palomar Pomerado Health district, the state's largest public hospital district, is expected to cost $230 million more than a previous estimate and might delay the projects for "years," according to the district, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
The projects now are expected to cost a total of more than $1 billion, compared with the $753 million estimate in July 2004.
Michael Shanahan, director of facilities planning and development, told the district's board that labor and building materials costs are the biggest factor in the increased estimate. According to officials, other factors include higher prices for land and medical equipment (Snow, San Diego Union-Tribune, 12/22).
The district's board of directors in July unanimously voted to endorse the $753 million plan, which will fund construction for a new hospital and renovate the district's two existing hospitals to meet state-mandated seismic standards and accommodate population growth (California Healthline, 7/15).
St. Vincent Medical Center this week announced that Jerry Clute, the hospital's senior vice president and COO, will replace Gus Valdespino as acting CEO, the Los Angeles Times reports.
A memo sent to hospital employees on Tuesday did not indicate whether Valdespino had resigned or had been fired as a result of the suspension of the hospital's liver transplant program three months ago.
Hospital spokesperson Paul Silva on Wednesday said Valdespino's decision to leave was "completely unrelated to any issues with the transplant program" (Ornstein, Los Angeles Times, 12/22).
Union officials at seven Sutter Health-affiliated hospitals are asking officials for contract provisions similar to those agreed on by workers at California Pacific Medical Center and St. Luke's Hospital last month, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
According to the Chronicle, Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare West "regards the California Pacific and St. Luke's agreements as industry models," but "other Sutter hospitals may not replicate the deals."
The contracts contain provisions for wages and binding arbitration and for hospital officials to voice their opinion when the union tries to organize workers.
Contracts have expired at Sutter Delta Medical Center, Eden Medical Center, Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, Sutter Medical Center, Sutter Solano Medical Center, Sutter Roseville Medical Center and Sutter Lakeside Hospital (Raine, San Francisco Chronicle, 12/21).