California Healthline Rounds Up Recent Hospital News
Summaries of recent California hospital news are provided below.
- Lancaster: Antelope Valley Hospital is increasing its daily room charges for medical-surgical beds by an average of $500 to $1,400, the Los Angeles Daily News reports. The increases are intended to help AVH deal with monthly losses that have totaled about $6.5 million since July. According to the Daily News, the change should not have a large impact on individual patients because most patients are enrolled in HMOs that have negotiated fixed rates with hospitals. In addition, the hospital board last month voted to hire the Camden Group, an El Segundo-based consulting firm, to help improve the hospital's finances (Maeshiro, Los Angeles Daily News, 12/26/03).
- Sacramento: Sacramento developer Bill Cummings pledged $2 million in honor of his wife Claudia Cummings toward an emergency room expansion at Mercy Hospital in Folsom, the Sacramento Bee reports (Francisco, Sacramento Bee, 12/27/03). It is the lead donation in an $18 million campaign to enlarge and upgrade the ED to serve the growing community east of Sacramento (Los Angeles Times, 12/28/03). The project will expand the number of beds from seven to 25 and increase the square footage from 4,620 to 22,410 (Sacramento Bee, 12/27/03).
- San Diego: Children's Hospital San Diego received a $1 million donation from the Joan Kroc estate, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. According to the hospital, the money will be added to its Children's Patient Care Fund, which provides treatment for children with little or no health insurance. David Gilling, the hospital's senior vice president, said about 50% of children treated by the hospital are included in that category (Stetz, San Diego Union-Tribune, 12/23/03).
- Sonoma County: Two of Sonoma County's eight hospitals will report a deficit for 2003, compared with five of the eight in 2002, the Santa Rosa Press Democrat reports. In addition, the eight hospitals reported combined losses of $6 million for 2003, down from a total of $25 million in 2001, in part by offering new, profitable medical services; eliminating unprofitable specialty services; and negotiating higher reimbursement rates from insurers, according to the Press Democrat (Rose, Santa Rosa Press Democrat, 12/28/03).