California Hospital News Roundup for the Week of April 23, 2010
Children's Hospital Oakland
On Tuesday, Children's Hospital Oakland laid off 17 employees as part of a three-year restructuring process designed to reduce the hospital's losses, the Oakland Tribune reports.
The layoffs primarily affected communications and fundraising positions.
Hospital officials said the restructuring will not affect the facility's critical care units, emergency department, inpatient services or research arm. However, officials said they have not ruled out additional layoffs (Metinko, Oakland Tribune, 4/20).
Kaweah Delta Health Care District, Visalia
Nick Volosin, director of technical services at Kaweah Delta Health Care District, recently announced that the health care system has ordered 100 Apple iPad tablet computers for its employees, NetworkWorld reports.
Volosin said the health care district already deployed three iPads for testing and demonstrations. He added that the additional 100 devices will be used by dietitians, home health workers, hospice staff, nurses and pharmacists (Brodkin, NetworkWorld, 4/20).
Sutter Medical Center of Santa Rosa
On Wednesday, Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West announced that its members at Sutter Medical Center of Santa Rosa have approved a new three-year contract, the San Francisco Business Times reports. The contract covers 350 workers and includes raises of up to 9.27% compounded over the next 32 months (Rauber, San Francisco Business Times, 4/21).
Meanwhile, Sutter Medical Center of Santa Rosa recently announced that it will cancel plans to include a physician-owned medical center as part of its proposal for a new 70-bed hospital, the North Bay Business Journal reports. Officials said the decision stems from provisions in the federal health reform law that require physician-owned hospitals to meet certain criteria (Verel, North Bay Business Journal, 4/19).
Santa Clara Valley Health and Hospital System
Last week, Turner Construction Company announced that Santa Clara Valley Health and Hospital System has selected it to manage the construction of a $300 million, 375,000-square-foot hospital in San Jose, the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal reports.
The 168-bed facility will serve as a Level 1 adult and pediatric trauma center. Construction is scheduled to be completed in 2012 (Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal, 4/16).
Southwest Healthcare System, Riverside County
On Monday, the California Department of Public Health announced that it is seeking to revoke Southwest Healthcare System's license because of a history of patient safety violations, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reports.
A Southwest spokesperson said the company will appeal DPH's decision.
Southwest's two hospitals -- Rancho Springs Medical Center in Murrieta and Inland Valley Medical Center in Wildomar -- will be allowed to remain open during the appeal (Horseman/Hill, Riverside Press-Enterprise, 4/21).
In a letter to Southwest CEO Dennis Knox, Kathleen Billingsley -- deputy director of the DPH's Center for Health Care Quality -- said the department could reverse its decision if Southwest demonstrates it can meet certain compliance requirements (Hill, Riverside Press-Enterprise, 4/20).
DPH's action comes a few days after CMS announced that it would discontinue Southwest's Medicare reimbursements on June 1 because of similar safety concerns (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 4/21).
UC-San Diego Medical Center, Hillcrest
UC-San Diego Medical Center in Hillcrest has announced plans to build a new hospital on its site by 2030, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
Officials say the project will begin when the current hospital tower needs to be replaced or renovated to meet seismic safety standards.
UCSD officials originally planned to relocate the medical center's services to Thornton Hospital in La Jolla but have since modified their plans (DarcÃ©, San Diego Union-Tribune, 4/19).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.