California Healthline Highlights Recent Hospital News
Bakersfield Memorial Hospital on Monday announced that Tejon Ranch has awarded the hospital's foundation $100,000 in company stock, the Bakersfield Californian reports. The donation will go toward an $8 million fundraising campaign to build a new $84 million tower.
The five-story, 114-bed tower will be built on top of the one-story labor and delivery unit. The tower is expected to be completed by January 2009.
The official kick-off of the fundraising campaign is expected to begin in early spring 2007 (Hagedorn, Bakersfield Californian, 12/11).
The Fresno County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday voted to not seek to remove Children's Hospital Central California's designation as a pediatric trauma center, the Fresno Bee reports.
The state's Emergency Medical Services Authority on Oct. 4 suspended the hospital's designation after discovering that the hospital turned away patients because it lacked the required specialists. The hospital lacks a neurosurgeon and pediatric surgeon to meet the requirements.
Supervisors decided against revoking the designation because hospital officials are working to recruit the necessary specialists and a loss of designation could harm the recruiting efforts (Correa, Fresno Bee, 12/13).
Approximately 80 physicians employed by Children's Hospital Oakland have until the end of the month to find a new employer or join a physician group that will feature a pay-for-performance compensation model, the Oakland Tribune reports. The pay-for-performance option is aimed at reducing hospital costs.
The physicians are in specialties such as emergency medicine, adolescent medicine, psychiatry, general pediatrics and neurology.
The foundation will pay physicians based on incentives, transfer pension contributions to a 401(k)-type system and no longer guarantee cost-of-living increases. Health benefits also will change, according to internal documents (Vesely, Oakland Tribune, 12/8).
Contract renewal disputes between Community Medical Centers and Blue Cross of California could force 140,000 Medi-Cal beneficiaries to find new care providers, the Fresno Bee reports. The current two-year contract will terminate on Jan. 31.
Community officials said that the hospital system seeks a rate increase for its Blue Cross Medi-Cal contract, which provides about $17 million less annually than hospital costs for treating Medi-Cal beneficiaries who receive benefits through Blue Cross.
Community spokesperson John Zelezny said an agreement is "not close at this point."
The contract dispute affects only Medi-Cal beneficiaries whose benefits are administered by a Blue Cross HMO and who use Community's three hospitals: Community Regional Medical Center, University Medical Center and Clovis Community Medical Center (Correa, Fresno Bee, 12/9).
Preliminary estimates have determined that San Francisco General Hospital cannot retrofit its facility by 2013 to meet state seismic safety standards, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. A study in September estimated that it would cost between $622 million and $940 million for a new building at San Francisco General Hospital.
The city has set aside $25 million over the next three years to develop a plan and likely will propose a reconstruction bond (Weiss, San Francisco Chronicle, 12/10).
The Chronicle this week also published a series of articles addressing San Francisco General. Headlines and links appear below.
- "For Trauma Team, Saving Lives Is Both a Social and Medical Mission" (Weiss, San Francisco Chronicle, 12/10)
- "Tension Permeates the Psych Ward - A Refuge for City's Most Fragile Minds" (Weiss, San Francisco Chronicle, 12/11)
- "Hospital's Approach Makes Family's Care a Multigenerational Affair for Doctor" (Weiss, San Francisco Chronicle, 12/12)
"Chief Executive Pours Heart and Soul Into S.F. General - But Can She Save It?" (Weiss, San Francisco Chronicle, 12/13)
The Sacramento City Council on Tuesday approved a revised environmental impact report of Sutter Medical Center's proposed $560 million expansion in downtown Sacramento, the Sacramento Bee reports.
Superior Court Judge Patrick Marlette earlier this year ordered hospital officials to revise the report to provide information on the project's impact of traffic, parking and air quality. The revision also includes underlying data to support conclusions, as well as supplemental data, Jeanne Corcoran, a city senior planner, said.
The report awaits a final ruling by Marlette to determine whether it meets his requirements (Hardy, Sacramento Bee, 12/13).