California Hospital News Roundup for the Week of April 15, 2011
California Health Care Facility, San Joaquin County
Hensel Phelps-Granite has been named the primary contractor to design and construct the first phase of a $900 million prison medical facility southeast of Stockton, the Stockton Record reports.
The first phase of construction will include preparing the 144-acre site, building a heating and cooling plant and setting up an electric fence. The building, which will be called the California Health Care Facility, is expected to be completed in 2013. The facility is expected to employ more than 2,400 health care workers, guards and other staff (Fujii, Stockton Record, 4/9).
Community Memorial Health System, Ventura
In May, Community Memorial Health System is scheduled to roll out a health IT initiative designed to connect the health system with local physicians, Healthcare IT News reports.
Ron Sandifer -- vice president and CIO of information systems for CMHS -- said the health system is undergoing testing to prepare for the launch of dbMotion's interoperability platform. The platform can capture and exchange data among disparate electronic health record systems, allowing the health system to connect with physicians that have different EHRs (Monegain, Healthcare IT News, 4/8).
John Muir Health, Concord and Walnut Creek
John Muir Health has agreed to pay a total of $340,000 to seven nurses and a lab technician to settle allegations that the health system withdrew job offers after a physician incorrectly diagnosed the health workers with severe latex allergies, the Contra Costa Times reports.
The agreement settles a class-action lawsuit that the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed in 2008. EEOC argued that John Muir violated the workers' rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act.Â John Muir denies that it discriminated against the job applicants, noting that it took precautions for the safety of employees and patients. Alice Villanueva -- senior vice president of human resources at John Muir -- said the health system decided to settle the case to avoid a costly and lengthy trial (Kleffman, Contra Costa Times, 4/10).
John Muir Medical Center, Walnut Creek
Last week, John Muir Medical Center announced that it would delay the opening of its new $612 million patient tower, the Contra Costa Times reports.
Michael Monaldo -- vice president of facilities development and corporate real estate at John Muir -- said officials opted to postpone the opening after a contractor "identified an issue with minor piping connections in the heating system in the ceiling." He added that the medical center will set a new opening date after the piping connections are inspected and tested (Kleffman, Contra Costa Times, 4/8).
Kaiser Permanente San Rafael Medical Center
On Tuesday, the San Rafael Planning Commission unanimously approved Kaiser Permanente's plans to build a 17,550 square-foot emergency department and a four-story parking structure at its Terra Linda campus, the Marin Independent Journal reports.
Construction for the parking facility is expected to start in September, with a target completion data of May 2012. Kaiser then plans to demolish part of an existing general services building to construct the new ED. Officials expect the ED to be completed in October 2013 (Jason, Marin Independent Journal, 4/13).
Loma Linda University Medical Center-Murrieta
On Friday, Loma Linda University Medical Center-Murrieta is scheduled to open after receiving clearance from the California Department of Public Health, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reports.
CDPH granted an operating license to the 106-bed hospital after conducting a second on-site inspection of the facility. The agency did not say why the second inspection was needed. The $211 million facility will feature a 19-bed emergency department, labor and delivery suites, and cardiac, oncology and orthopedic services (Hill, Riverside Press-Enterprise, 4/13).
Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital
On Thursday, Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital notified 200 employees that they would be laid off by June 15, the Monterey County Herald reports.
The hospital plans to offer up to $5,000 in cash incentives to the affected workers if they opt to leave their jobs by the end of April. Adrienne Laurent, spokesperson for the hospital, said the layoffs targeted workers in a range of classifications, including managers and part-time employees. The affected workers include members of the California Nurses Association and the National Union of Healthcare Workers (Johnson, Monterey County Herald, 4/15).
San Ramon Regional Medical Center
Next week, San Ramon Regional Medical Center plans to open a new emergency department as part of the hospital's $10.7 million expansion project, the Contra Costa Times reports.
The 8,900 square-foot addition to the hospital increases the number of ED beds from nine to 16. It also includes a new waiting room and an isolation area for patients with extremely contagious conditions. Hospital CEO Gary Sloan said the expansion will better prepare the hospital to address potential public health emergencies (Kleffman, Contra Costa Times, 4/12).
Stanford Hospital & Clinics and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital, Palo Alto
After more than a year of negotiations, nurses at Stanford Hospital & Clinics and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital have a new contract, the San Jose Mercury News reports.
Last week, the Committee for Recognition of Nursing Achievement -- a union that represents 2,700 nurses at the hospitals -- voted to ratify the new labor agreement. The new contract provides nurses with a 4% pay raise through April 1, 2012, retroactive to March 31, 2010 (Samuels, San Jose Mercury News, 4/8). The contract also calls for modifications to a nursing professional development program (Rauber, San Francisco Business Times, 4/8).
UC-San Diego Thornton Hospital, La Jolla
Officials have delayed the scheduled April 4 opening of the Sulpizio Family Cardiovascular Center at UC-San Diego Thornton Hospital, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
Jacqueline Carr, a UCSD spokesperson, said the university must make corrections to the emergency departments at its Thornton Hospital and UCSD Medical Center in Hillcrest before state officials will inspect the cardiovascular center and allow it to open. She did not describe the corrections needed.
Carr said UCSD plans to file correction plans with the state by next week. She added that the university hopes to resolve the issues soon so the cardiovascular center can open in May (Lavelle, San Diego Union-Tribune, 4/12).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.