California Healthline Highlights Recent Hospital News
Children's Hospital Oakland plans to build a new hospital in Contra Costa County or the Livermore Valley to accommodate a growing population east of Alameda County, the Contra Costa Times reports. The new hospital is expected to cost about $400 million.
The hospital also will build a smaller medical center in Oakland to replace its current facility, which does not meet state seismic safety standards. The Oakland hospital will have an emergency department, surgery and other specialists.
The hospital has not yet selected a site for the new medical center, but officials have two general areas in mind, according to the Times (Kleffman, Contra Costa Times, 4/1).
The Department of Health Services has approved the addition of 10 beds to Community Hospital of San Bernardino's 24-bed pediatric sub-acute care unit, the Riverside Business Press reports. A hospital spokesperson said there were waiting lists for the unit.
The hospital will add four employees to the unit as patients fill the beds.
The hospital also is completing a $500,000 renovation, and has been losing less money than it has in the past, the spokesperson said (Martin Tucker, Business Press, 4/3).
Texas-based Cirrus Health on Wednesday announced a deal to purchase controlling interests in the Fresno Surgery Center from FSC Health, the Fresno Bee reports. The company also purchased FSC Health's ownership interest in Thousand Oaks Surgical Hospital in a separate deal.
Financial details of the sale were not disclosed.
Cirrus is expected to add 11 patient beds and three operating rooms to the 20-bed Fresno hospital. Creating more inpatient services is expected to increase revenue at the hospital (Correa, Fresno Bee, 4/6).
Monterey Peninsula developer Nader Agha has increased to $90 million his offer to buy Natividad Medical Center, and hospital administrators have met with him to discuss the details of his plan for the facility, the Monterey County Herald reports.
Agha said he would develop a health care complex that includes a hospital, subacute nursing facility, rehabilitation and wellness center and a retirement unit. He also "anticipate[s] that the health department will be rebuilt and rented back to the county at a cost."
County officials extended until April 11 negotiations with Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital, after deciding last month to pursue a possible joint powers agreement to administer Natividad (Melendez Salinas, Monterey County Herald, 4/5). According to the Herald, county officials say Natividad and SVMH administrators "appear close to an agreement" to jointly operate Natividad.
The county Board of Supervisors on Tuesday will receive updates on the proposed joint administration and on Agha's proposal. The board also will consider requests to increase Natividad's budget for traveling nurses by $1 million to $4.8 million this fiscal year (Mel, Monterey County Herald, 4/6).
Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital and Blue Shield of California have reached an agreement to offer "preferred provider" discounts to patients with Blue Shield and United Health Care insurance plans, the Monterey County Herald reports.
The previous discount contract expired in August 2004. The change will go into effect May 1 and will affect about 5% of patients at the hospital (Purewal, Monterey County Herald, 4/5).
A person willing to sell five pieces of land to the Sonoma Valley Health Care District where a new hospital would be built has emerged, calling into question the future of a bond measure currently under consideration, the San Francisco Chronicle reports (Doyle, San Francisco Chronicle, 4/7).
Under Measure C, the Sonoma Valley Health Care District plans to seize 16 acres of land owned by a local ranching family through the power of eminent domain. Hospital officials say that a new hospital is needed to meet state seismic safety standards and that the hospital will close if the measure is not approved.
If the measure, which requires a two-thirds vote, is approved, the hospital is expected to open in late 2010. Ballots were mailed to district residents on Tuesday (Doyle, San Francisco Chronicle, 4/3).
However, the potential purchase of the five land parcels would eliminate the need to seize the ranch land through eminent domain.
District President Bob Kowal said he plans to discuss the issue with the district board on Thursday (San Francisco Chronicle, 4/7).
The not-for-profit committee Citizens for Saving TGH is trying to qualify measures for the November ballot that would raise money to build and operate a new county hospital, the Modesto Bee reports. Tuolumne General Hospital must be rebuilt to meet state seismic safety standards in its acute care unit.
County Administrator C. Brent Wallace has said the county no longer can use money from the general fund to support the hospital. In a report, Wallace said a new hospital would cost between $50 million and $60 million and could be funded by multiple ballot measures to increase taxes. Wallace recommended a half-cent sales tax increase to fund hospital operations.
If county supervisors do not include a tax measure on the ballot, the committee could seek to qualify the measure through a citizens' petition, according to Yvonne Brightbill, a committee organizer (Carlson, Modesto Bee, 4/7).
Sutter Medical Center officials on Monday announced plans to close the emergency department and 69-bed hospital facility at Warrack Hospital, the Santa Rosa Press Democrat reports. The hospital has reported losses of about $2.5 million annually.
Hospital services will be consolidated at Sutter Medical Center. Warrack will become an outpatient center for surgical diagnostic and rehabilitative care.
Hospital officials said Warrack is underutilized and has consistently lost money (Benfell, Santa Rosa Press Democrat, 4/4).