California Healthline Highlights Recent Hospital News
Antelope Valley Hospital officials must hold any discussion related to Palmdale Regional Medical Center in open meetings, a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge has ordered, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.
City officials brought the lawsuit, alleging that AVH officials in a closed meeting in August 2005 discussed a proposal to use eminent domain to take over the site on which Palmdale Regional Medical Center will be built. City officials alleged that the discussion should have been held in an open meeting and included in an advanced agenda.
AVH officials say they do not plan to use eminent domain to block the new hospital and added that they support the opening of the new hospital if it contracts to care for Medi-Cal beneficiaries. Medi-Cal is California's Medicaid program (Skeen, Los Angeles Daily News, 10/2).
KCET's "Life & Times" on Tuesday examined the decision to close the emergency department at the Memorial campus of the Centinela Freeman HealthSystem (Guinyard, "Life & Times," KCET, 10/3).
The hospital chain will open urgent care centers at its Memorial and Centinela campuses to help provide health care services. Under the closure plan, the Centinela campus ED will treat emergency patients who otherwise would have sought treatment at the Memorial campus (California Healthline, 9/22).
The KCET segment includes comments from:
- Deborah Ettinger, vice president of the health system;
- Jacqueline Herd, chief nursing officer at the Memorial campus;
- Michael Rembis, president and CEO of Centinela Freeman HealthSystem;
- Nancy Watson, policy director for Health Care Access and Quality; and
- Area residents ("Life & Times," KCET, 10/3).
The complete transcript is available online. The complete segment is available online in RealPlayer.
In addition, KPCC's "AirTalk" on Friday will host a live panel discussion at the Huntington Hospital in Pasadena on ED closures in Los Angeles County (Mantle, "AirTalk," KPCC, 10/6). The complete segment will be available online after the broadcast.
"California Connected" -- a weekly, hourlong newsmagazine produced by PBS stations in Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego and San Francisco that covers state events and issues -- on Friday is scheduled to include a report on emergency medical care, including the closure of EDs in Los Angeles County ("California Connected," KVIE, 10/6).
The complete segment will be available online in Quicktime media format after the broadcast.
Doctors Medical Center in San Pablo on Thursday received a $2.5 million grant from the California Medical Assistance Commission, which will allow the hospital to continue paying its employees through Oct. 27, according to Doctors spokesperson Gisela Hernandez, the Contra Costa Times reports.
Doctors officials say they need between $5 million and $8 million in assistance now and an additional $9 million over the next nine months to remain open.
Doctors' interim Chief Operating Officer Deborah Smith on Wednesday announced that more than 300 workers would be fired, including 50 recent layoffs and vacant jobs. The last two-week payroll was reduced by nearly $1 million from previous layoffs, furloughs and job attrition, according to Smith.
Members of the union Service Employees International Union, United Healthcare Workers-West -- which represents housekeepers, nurses' aides and food service workers -- received layoff notices Thursday. Not all layoff lists were compiled by Thursday, including ones for Public Employees Union Local 1, which represents clerical and lab workers, and the California Nurses Association and Local 39 members. Some layoff notices may be released as late as Monday, according to Smith.
CNA lobbyist Donna Gerber and Richard Thomason, a lobbyist for SEIU, at a commission meeting in Sacramento Thursday cautioned that a public health crisis might occur if Doctors closes (Lochner, Contra Costa Times, 10/6).
KPCC's "KPCC News" on Thursday included an interview with reporter and author Marc Haefele about Martin Luther King Jr./Drew Medical Center (Moran, "KPCC News," KPCC, 10/5).
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday voted unanimously to approve in concept a plan to transfer administration of Martin Luther King/Drew University Medical Center to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. The plan comes after CMS in September informed King/Drew administrators that the hospital had failed an inspection and would lose eligibility for federal funding.
The renamed Harbor-Martin Luther King Jr. Community Hospital would be reduced in size to 114 patient beds and would feature an ED and expanded outpatient center. Pediatrics, neurosurgery, neonatal intensive care and other specialties would be transferred to Harbor-UCLA (California Healthline, 10/4).
The complete segment is available online in RealPlayer. In addition, KQED's "The California Report" on Wednesday reported on King/Drew. The segment includes comments from Los Angeles County Supervisor Yvonne Brathwaite Burke and County Department of Health Services Director Bruce Chernof (Schmitz, "California Report," KQED, 10/4). The complete segment is available online in RealPlayer.
Preliminary plans by parent company Catholic Healthcare West call for as many as four phases of construction at Mercy Hospital of Folsom, the Sacramento Business Journal reports. The master plan calls for expanding the hospital's current 85 beds to more than 300 beds, in part through a 21-bed medical surgery unit, a new patient wing and a new inpatient tower.
The plan calls for construction that could cost more than $225 million over 15 years (Robertson, Sacramento Business Journal, 9/29).
University of California regents in September approved $34 million in funding for a preliminary plan for a new women's, children's and cancer hospital at Mission Bay, the San Francisco Business Times reports. UCSF officials earlier this year said they likely would have to reduce the scope of the project by delaying some construction and likely focus on the children's hospital.
However, regents provided funding to consider the full project -- a 289-bed facility that likely would cost between $1 billion and $1.3 billion, according to an article on the UCSF Web site and an interview with UCSF Medical Center CEO Mark Laret, the Business Times reports.
The proposed project would include:
- A 183-bed children's hospital to replace the current facility at the Parnassus Heights campus;
- A 36-bed women's facility; and
- A 70-bed cancer center to replace existing facilities at the Mt. Zion campus of the medical center (Rauber, San Francisco Business Times, 9/29).
KPBS' "These Days" on Tuesday reported on the University of California-San Diego Medical Center's plan to move acute-care services from its Hillcrest hospital to its La Jolla campus.
Guests on the program included Lawrence Friedman, a physician and medical director of UCSD Medical Group, and Mike Williams -- president of the Abaris Group, which conducted a county-commissioned report amended last month on the effect of the plan for health care access for the county's low-income residents (Fudge, "These Days," KPBS, 10/3).
The complete segment is available online in Windows Media.