California Healthline Highlights Recent Hospital News
Children's Hospital Oakland on Wednesday reached a multiyear agreement with Blue Cross of California to continue providing coverage for state-sponsored programs, including Medi-Cal and Healthy Families, the Oakland Tribune reports.
The contract was due to expire Thursday. Both sides are finalizing the agreement. Details have not been released (Oakland Tribune, 6/2).
Construction is scheduled to begin in the next month or so on a proposed 15-year, multi-phase expansion of Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. The project first must receive final approval from the Encinitas Planning Commission, which has yet to schedule a hearing on the matter.
The $100 million expansion would include:
- Construction of a three-story medical office building by 2011;
- Eleven additional beds in the current 12-bed emergency department by 2010;
- A three-story critical care building with a rooftop helipad that would be completed by 2012; and
- A three-story acute care building that would be completed by 2020.
In addition, the 15-year plan would include seismic retrofitting for all Scripps Encinitas buildings to comply with state requirements that take effect in 2013, Chris Van Gorder, Scripps president and CEO, said.
Area residents who oppose the expansion proposal say it does not include adequate measures to control traffic and noise from the facility (Lau, San Diego Union-Tribune, 6/1).
Scripps Health officials have announced a plan to build a Scripps Cardiovascular Institute next to Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
The facility would centralize 65 doctors from Scripps Memorial and 35 doctors from Scripps Green. In addition, the program would facilitate cardiovascular research and provide a graduate program for medical students, officials said.
Scripps officials hope to use donations to cover some costs for the estimated $360 million center, which will take five to seven years to construct (Clark, San Diego Union-Tribune, 5/31).
KPBS News on Wednesday reported on the planned cardiovascular institute. The segment includes comments from Scripps CEO Chris Van Gorder (Goldberg, "KPBS News," KPBS, 5/31). The complete segment is available online in RealPlayer. A transcript of the segment is available online.
Officials at Sharp Grossmont Hospital in La Mesa say a $247 million bond is needed for improvements to emergency services, particularly if nearby Alvarado Hospital Medical Center closes, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
Sharp Grossmont spent more than $180,000 on campaign literature and $318,580 for television ads endorsing the Proposition G bond measure, which will appear on Tuesday's ballot. Money from the bond would allow the hospital to expand three floors of a five-story building and add 24 intensive care beds and 66 regular beds. It also would allow the hospital to expand its emergency department.
Other bond money would be used to add five operating rooms, repair plumbing and electrical fixtures, and upgrade the hospital to meet seismic safety standards (Krueger, San Diego Union-Tribune, 5/31).
Sutter Delta Medical Center in Antioch last month opened its new pediatrics center to care for patients up to age 17, the Contra Costa Times reports.
The seven-bed facility is staffed by four pediatric specialists and a team of specialized nurses. The unit also has three private rooms with reclining sleep chairs that allow parents to stay with their children. In addition, the facility has a "jungle-themed" toy room and a kitchen for parents to prepare snacks for their children.
According to the Times, the opening of the center comes weeks after Sutter Delta opened a birthing center and neonatal intensive care unit. The pediatric center and nursery are part of a four-year plan at the hospital that also includes construction of a women's health center (Rose, Contra Costa Times, 5/29).
Voters in the Tri-City Healthcare District on Tuesday will decide whether to approve Proposition F, which would raise $596 million in general obligation bond money to enlarge and modernize Tri-City Medical Center in Oceanside, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
The measure would fund seismic upgrades at the hospital to meet state standards that take effect in 2013. It requires a two-thirds vote to pass and would tax residents $23.40 annually per $100,000 of assessed property values.
According to supporters, the expansion also would predict population growth and decrease waiting times in the emergency department. Citizens for Tri-City -- Yes on F have raised at least $720,000 this year. Votenoontricityhospitalbond.com has raised less than $5,000 (Rodriguez, San Diego Union-Tribune, 5/31).
The University of California-Davis Medical Center is prepared to start evaluating Kaiser Permanente kidney transplant patients and next week will begin operating on patients who have organs from live donors, the Sacramento Bee reports.
Kaiser on May 12 announced it will close its kidney transplant program after reports that it had contributed to transplant delays because it did not properly put patients on wait lists.
According to Cindy Ehnes, director of the Department of Managed Health Care, 12 Kaiser patient charts have been sent to UC-Davis and six have been sent to UC-San Francisco Medical Center. The two medical centers eventually will take more than 2,000 Kaiser patients (Griffith, Sacramento Bee, 6/2).