California Hospital News Roundup for Feb. 15, 2008
Children's Hospital Oakland is looking for a new source of funding to help finance a $700 million expansion after county voters recently rejected a parcel tax, according to Mary Dean, senior vice president of the hospital, the Oakland Tribune reports.
The expansion relied on $300 million from either of two $2-per-month county parcel tax measures. The project would increase the hospital's patient bed capacity and allow it to meet state building standards for earthquake safety.
Dean said the project now has a "$300 million hole" in funding. She added, "We have to go back to the drawing board. We're at ground zero" (Metinko, Oakland Tribune, 2/14).
John Muir Health has opened its new emergency department as part of a $621 million project to expand the hospital's services and meet state building standards for earthquake safety, the East Bay Business Times reports.
The new ED has bed capacity of 21, which will further expand to 44 by the end of 2011. The hospital also is building a five-story patient-care tower, which officials hope to complete within three years.
The new tower will increase the hospital's overall bed count from 324 to 416, including 230 new private patient rooms. The facility also will add:
- New surgical sites;
- Critical care rooms; and
- An intensive care unit neonatal nursery (Hogarth, East Bay Business Times, 2/8).
CMS has rejected Kaiser Permanente Medical Center's initial response to a federal report that criticized the hospital's oversight of medical staff, agency officials said last week, the Fresno Bee reports.
Kaiser has submitted a second report, called a corrective plan of action. CMS could cut off Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements to the hospital if the oversights are not addressed.
Rufus Arthur, hospital and community care operations manager for a CMS office in San Francisco, said the hospital's original plan of correction did not "address the deficiencies that were cited" in the federal report following an inspection (Correa, Fresno Bee, 2/9).
Kaweah Delta Hospital is applying for designation as a Level III trauma center from the Central California Emergency Medical Services Agency, the Bee reports.
To receive Level III designation, the hospital must meet certain requirements such as having anesthesiologists available on short notice and a trained trauma team with surgeons specializing in general and orthopedic surgery.
Lindsay Mann, CEO of Kaweah, said the hospital will work with local orthopedic surgeons to recruit more orthopedic trauma specialists.
If approved, the facility would fill a 110-mile gap in trauma services between Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno and Kern Medical Center in Bakersfield (Sheehan, Fresno Bee, 2/11).
Mission Hospital is the first hospital in California and fourth in the U.S. to offer new technology that uses ultrasound to help treat irregular heartbeat, the Orange County Register reports.
The 3-D, real-time heart-mapping procedure uses ultrasound to identify the origin of irregular heartbeats, allowing doctors to then cauterize the tissues causing the malfunctions.
The procedure is part of a $4 million system upgrade to the hospital's electrophysiology lab (Ritchie, Orange County Register, 2/11).