California Hospital News Roundup for August 8, 2008
Anaheim General Hospital is working to resolve concerns about the quality of care raised by reports by CMS and the Joint Commission, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Earlier this year, CMS faulted the hospital on a range of issues related to two patient deaths, raising the possibility of the hospital losing eligibility to participate in Medicare and Medi-Cal, California's Medicaid program.
Hospital officials say that the hospital was not at fault in either of the deaths and that any quality of care issues highlighted in the report have been resolved.
Separately, Joint Commission investigators identified 47 safety deficiencies at Anaheim General. Facilities with more than 18 deficiencies can lose accreditation by the organization.
Hospital President Jim Young said hospital leaders have met with Joint Commission officials in Chicago to appeal the accreditation decision and is awaiting a decision (Costello, Los Angeles Times, 8/7).
Century City Doctors Hospital could have to file for bankruptcy as early as this month if a sale of the facility is not finalized soon, people familiar with the situation said, the Times reports.
Hospital CEO John Reynolds said the hospital has been for sale for several months. He said the facility has an average daily occupancy of about 60 beds, below the threshold needed to support the facility.
In 2004, Tenet Healthcare closed the facility -- then known as Century City Hospital -- but Beverly Hills-based Salus Surgical Group acquired the hospital and re-opened it in 2006. Salus Surgical spent about $100 million renovating the facility (Costello, Los Angeles Times, 8/4).
On Tuesday, Sonoma County supervisors voted 4-0 to approve a $3 million bond note to help Palm Drive Hospital resolve its bankruptcy, the Santa Rosa Press Democrat reports.
Under the proposal for the note, residents of the western part of the county would have to continue paying an annual $155 parcel tax for as long as five years if the hospital defaults on the loan and terminates operations.
The note is subject to approval by the bankruptcy court and a vote of the hospital's creditors.
The hospital has taken out similar notes at least twice previously (Rose, Santa Rosa Press Democrat, 8/6).
Service Employees International Union United Healthcare Workers-West is locked in an ongoing debate with Orange-based St. Joseph Health System over efforts to unionize St. Joseph hospitals, the Times reports.
The union has asked St. Joseph administrators -- nuns from the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange order -- to agree to a set of preconditions before hospital workers hold a union election.
Administrators have rejected the request, saying that it could limit hospital employees' choice over which union represents them.
St. Joseph Health System operates 14 hospitals in California, New Mexico and Texas (Barboza, Los Angeles Times, 8/8).
State health officials and the San Diego County medical examiner are investigating a recent patient death at Sharp Grossmont Hospital after a physician with staff privileges at the hospital anonymously raised questions to the medical examiner and the San Diego Union-Tribune, the Union-Tribune reports.
The medical examiner initially declined to do an autopsy because hospital officials attributed the death to the patient's medical history.
Dan Gross, executive vice president of Sharp HealthCare, said the facility was not required to report the event to the state, explaining that the patient was seriously ill when he underwent surgery at Sharp Grossmont. Gross said the hospital reported the death to the state anyway because of an ongoing investigation into other patient care issues.
The doctor who e-mailed the newspaper alleges that hospital workers misrepresented the patient's death (Clark, San Diego Union-Tribune, 8/1).
Stanford Hospital and Clinics has sold its basic outreach lab services to N.C.-based Laboratory Corporation of America for an undisclosed sum, a hospital spokesperson announced on Friday, the Bay Area News Group/San Jose Mercury News reports.
Spokesperson Gary Migdol said that more than half of the 200 workers affected by the sale have been hired by or offered other jobs with LabCorp. He said other employees would be given priority consideration for jobs at Stanford Hospital or Lucile Packard Children's Hospital (Green, Bay Area News Group/San Jose Mercury News, 8/3).
Last week, workers at Stanford Hospital and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board to elect new union representation, the Bay Area News Group/Mercury News reports.
Earlier in the week, the hospitals announced that they would no longer recognize the employees' union representation because of changes in the organization of locals under the Service Employees International Union umbrella.
Stanford officials said that workers must select union representation before the hospitals will begin contract negotiations (Peterson, Bay Area News Group/San Jose Mercury News, 8/1).
On Tuesday, KPCC's "Patt Morrison" included a discussion of privacy breaches at UCLA Medical Center. The segment focused on whether the privacy breaches were unique to UCLA Medical Center or a result of treating high-profile patients (Morrison, "Patt Morrison," KPCC, 8/5).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.