California Healthline Highlights Recent Hospital News
Eden Medical Center will close the 29-bed skilled nursing unit at San Leandro Hospital and an outpatient cardiac rehabilitation unit and laser optics services at its Castro Valley campus, CEO George Bischalaney announced Tuesday, the Oakland Tribune reports.
Bischalaney said high costs and reduced reimbursements led to the closure decisions. The skilled nursing unit reported an operating loss of $1 million in 2005, and the Tribune reports that Medicare reimbursements cover less than 50% of the actual cost of treating beneficiaries in the unit.
The cardiac rehabilitation program will close Aug. 31. The laser optics department closed on June 30. Once the skilled nursing unit discharges its current patients, it will refer patients to other facilities in the area (Holzmeister, Oakland Tribune, 7/5).
New talks have begun among officials from Monterey County, Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital and Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula about possible financial contributions to Natividad Medical Center, the Monterey County Herald reports. Natividad faces a $22 million deficit this fiscal year.
County Administrative Officer Lew Bauman said that "[b]etween $4 million and $10 million" in financial contributions would "provide adequate resources to significantly improve operations: software upgrades, assistance with management resources and associated investments in the fiscal and institutional infrastructure." However, Bauman acknowledged the Natividad "is not in a position to impose any specific request on any entity."
Memorial and Monterey County officials also are considering an arrangement in which Memorial would serve Natividad in an "advisory capacity," Memorial Director of News and Public Affairs Adrienne Laurent said (Melendez Salinas, Monterey County Herald, 7/3).
Palomar Pomerado Health District officials on June 30 announced that the district has reached a tentative agreement with nurses and health care workers on a three-year contract, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
The contract includes:
- Salary increases for nurses averaging about 7.5% in the first year and 5.5% in the second and third years;
- A 5% cap on premium increases for health insurance;
- An enhanced pension plan for employees with 15 or more years of service; and
- A matching contribution formula for deferred compensation plans.
Shriner's Hospitals for Children, Los Angeles this week began negotiations with Los Angeles County to construct a replacement hospital facility to comply with state seismic safety rules, the Los Angeles Times reports. Shriners is seeking a long-term, no- or low-cost lease on land near Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center.
Shriners would fund construction of the new 60-bed facility and would reimburse County-USC for any services the county hospital provided.
County Department of Health Services Director Bruce Chernof said it was unlikely the Shriners Hospital would draw away patients from County-USC.
An update on negotiations is expected next month (Chung, Los Angeles Times, 7/7).
The Sierra View District Hospital Board of Directors last week approved a $112 million operations budget and $3.2 million capital equipment budget, continuing the hospital's $70 million expansion plan, the Fresno Bee reports. Under the plan, the hospital will add 65 beds and 250 jobs.
Doug Dickson, vice president of finance at the hospital, said a new dialysis center will open in November and a new ambulatory surgery center will begin operation by July, pending approval by the Department of Health Services (Bergfalk, Fresno Bee, 7/7).