California Hospital News Roundup for the Week of April 2, 2010
Children's HospitalÂ & Research Center Oakland
After accumulating more than $80 million in losses over the last four years, Children's HospitalÂ & Research Center Oakland announced plans to restructure its outpatient service, develop new business opportunities and negotiate higher private payer and government reimbursement rates, the San Francisco Business Times reports. Officials said the changes would require the hospital to cut $15 million from its budget or find new revenue sources (Rauber, San Francisco Business Times, 3/25).
The restructuring will not affect the hospital's research arm, emergency department, inpatient or critical care services (Kleffman, Contra Costa Times, 3/24).
Community Memorial Hospital, Ventura
Ventura's Community Memorial Hospital recently began construction on a new $8 million cancer center, the Ventura County Star reports. The center is expected to open as a two-story facility in November 2010.
The cancer center is a part of a $320 million effort by the Community Memorial Health System to upgrade facilities and meet seismic safety standards (Vizzo, Ventura County Star, 3/25).
Kaiser Permanente recently announced that it will install solar energy systems at 15 facilities statewide, the Sacramento Business Journal reports (Sacramento Business Journal, 3/30).
Recurrent Energy is scheduled to install the systems by summer 2011. The company intends to operate the panels and sell the electricity to Kaiser through a 20-year power purchase agreement.Â Kaiser is expected to spend about $95.6 million to purchase power from the panels over 20 years (Baker, San Francisco Chronicle, 3/30).
Martin Luther King Jr. Medical Center, Los Angeles
L.A. Care Health Plan has provided a $500,000 grant to help launch the planning process to fully re-open Martin Luther King Jr. Medical Center, the AP/"KPCC News" reports.Â The hospital closed in 2007 after patient deaths were attributed to poor quality of care.
The county Board of Supervisors has agreed to fund the re-opening and renovation of the facility. The University ofÂ California is expected to provide physician services and quality oversight.
Plans call for the medical center to reopen as a 120-bed facility in late 2012, with the emergency department opening in 2013 and an ambulatory care center opening in 2014 (AP/"KPCC News," Southern California Public Radio, 3/29).
Mercy Medical Center, Merced
Mercy Medical Center has announced that it is expanding clinic services and providing shuttle bus service for South Merced residents to ensure that they are able to access care once the hospital moves from its South Merced location to its new North Merced facility in May, the Merced Sun-Star reports (Reiter, Merced Sun-Star, 3/31).
San Joaquin General Hospital, French Camp
The San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors is considering a plan to lay off about 100 workers at San Joaquin General Hospital in an effort to reduce spending by about $5 million annually, the Stockton Record reports.
The policymakers also are considering proposals to reduce hospital services and separate the facility from county Health Care Services (Johnson, Stockton Record, 3/30).
St. Mary's Medical Center, San Francisco
On Wednesday, St. Mary's Medical Center in San Francisco kicked off construction for a new 14,200-square-foot, $22.75 million cancer center, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
The new center, which will be located on the ground floor of St. Mary's current facility, will allow patients to undergo chemotherapy and radiation in one location. Four hundred chemotherapy and 200 radiation patients are expected to receive treatment there each year.Construction on the center is expected to be completed in December (Selna, San Francisco Chronicle, 4/1). 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.