California Healthline Rounds Up Recent Hospital News
The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations last week granted Alta Bates Summit Medical Center in Alameda County conditional accreditation status, allowing the hospital to maintain its JCAHO accreditation while also requiring it to undergo further inspections within four to six months, the Oakland Tribune reports.
Alta Bates Summit in May appealed to a JCAHO review panel in Chicago to reverse a preliminary denial of accreditation the organization issued the hospital in February because of several deficiencies identified during a November 2004 inspection. The panel dismissed some deficiencies, but the hospital still must submit a plan of correction to address 13 deficiencies that were not overturned in the review. According to the Tribune, the remaining deficiencies "largely concern proper and consistent documentation and some cleanliness issues" (Vesely, Oakland Tribune, 8/6).
Antelope Valley Hospital officials have approved the hospital's fiscal year 2005-2006 budget, which will maintain services at its psychiatric ward while adding a 5% pay increase for licensed vocational nurses, respiratory technicians and other support service workers, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.
The $218 million budget also marks the first fiscal year without a multimillion-dollar loss for the hospital in more than four years, the Daily News reports (Maeshiro, Los Angeles Daily News, 8/7).
Doctors Medical Center San Pablo administrators said that the hospital likely will lose $4.5 million in 2005 and that they do not expect it to report a profit for as much as 18 months, the Contra Costa Times reports. Although the hospital is losing money, its losses have decreased since the West Contra Costa Healthcare district resumed management of the facility after Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare last year did not renew its contract to administer the facility (Silber, Contra Costa Times, 8/11).
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors Government Audit and Oversight Committee last week approved a measure that will authorize $69 million in bond sales to continue funding the construction of a new facility for Laguna Honda Hospital, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The funding decision should allow the county to secure construction contracts by December.
In 1999, when voters approved the sale of $299 million in bonds to construct a 1,200-bed facility, the projected total cost of the project was $401 million. Now the project is expected to cost more than $600 million, pushing county officials to "rethink the scope" of the new facility, according to the Chronicle.
The bond sales will allow the county to complete construction of a facility with at least 780 beds, officials said. The full Board is scheduled to decide the issue of the remaining 420 beds in September (Goodyear, San Francisco Chronicle, 8/9).
KPCC's "Air Talk" on Monday featured a discussion on recommendations from Los Angeles County officials to reduce some services at Martin Luther King Jr./Drew Medical Center. Guests on the program included Thomas Garthwaite, director of the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services, and county supervisors Yvonne Brathwaite Burke and Zev Yaroslavsky (Mantle, "Air Talk," KPCC, 8/8). The complete segment is available online in RealPlayer.This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.