California Healthline Highlights Recent Hospital News
Contra Costa County health services Director William Walker said Tuesday that he is confident Contra Costa County Regional Medical Center will not lose its Medicare funding because of a recent violation, the Contra Costa Times reports.
CMS officials last month alleged that the hospital had violated the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act, the breach of which could result in a loss of $300 million in annual Medicare funding. The violation stemmed from alleged inappropriate patient transfers.
The loss of funding would force the hospital to close by February 2007. County officials have submitted a correction plan and are awaiting a final decision (Kleffman, Contra Costa Times, 12/6).
The West Contra Costa Healthcare District Board on Thursday approved new limits on travel and meal expenses for hospital administrators, the Contra Costa Times reports. The policies will:
- Ban gifts for staff, except for plaques and other recognition that cost less than $75;
- Permit reimbursement for mobile phone calls up to $5, with a receipt; and
- Require the hospital CEO to provide quarterly updates on hospital executives' reimbursable expenses (Huff, Contra Costa Times, 12/8).
Kern Women's Health Group, which consists of Kern Medical Center physicians, owes Kern Medical Center at least $141,376 from inappropriate payments from Kern County under its contract with the physician group, according to a report by the county auditor, the Bakersfield Californian reports. County Auditor-Controller Ann Barnett released the report on Thursday.
County Supervisor Michael Rubio said the county is paying the physicians for private business expenses, a practice that the contract prohibits. He called for the physician group to repay the county (Burger, Bakersfield Californian, 12/7).
The Modesto Planning Commission on Monday approved a proposal by Sutter Gould Medical Foundation to build a new facility that is almost double the size of its existing center, the Modesto Bee reports.
The commission recommends that the City Council approve the proposal when it goes before the council for a final vote in January 2007. The facility will have larger clinics and waiting rooms, and will house the latest medical technology, hospital representatives said.
Local community members oppose the proposed expansion because it would cause traffic congestion and rezone residential property. The hospital purchased seven homes that it plans to demolish to provide enough parking space (Carlson, Modesto Bee, 12/5).
Woodland Healthcare on Thursday began construction on a new medical office building adjacent to Woodland Memorial Hospital, the Sacramento Business Journal reports. The new building -- expected to open in 2008 -- will replace older offices on the campus.
Services at the new building include occupational medicine, orthopedics, pediatrics, pharmacy, X-ray and rheumatology (Robertson, Sacramento Business Journal, 12/5).