California Hospital News Roundup for the Week of April 3, 2015
Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, Oakland
Sutter Health has agreed to pay a $71,275 fine to settle an investigation that found safety violations at the health system's Alta Bates Summit Medical Center over the way it handles patients with suspected airborne diseases, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
The fine comes after the California Nurses Association in 2012 filed a complaint, alleging that more than a dozen patients suspected of having tuberculosis were kept in isolation rooms that were not functioning adequately, putting staff at risk of contracting the disease.
Under the settlement with the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health, Sutter agreed to change the way it handles patients suspected of having airborne diseases (Allday, San Francisco Chronicle, 3/24).
Los Angeles County-University of Southern California Medical Center
A combined prenatal care and psychiatric treatment program for low-income women at the Los Angeles County-University of Southern California Medical Center has treated 60 women since it launched last year, KPCC's "KPCC News" reports.
Emily Dossett, who created the Mental Health Wellness program in July 2014, said she plans to expand the program to other county clinics. In addition, she is developing a similar program for the hospital's pediatrics department to give women access to mental health care during pediatric visits (Aguilera, "KPCC News," KPCC, 3/30).
Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital
Stakeholders say the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital is set to open in June with a renewed focus on preventive treatment, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The original hospital closed in 2007 after reports of inadequate care, and its reopening was stalled by money- and bureaucratic-related setbacks, according to the Times.
Experts say the new medical center has been built to align with best practices for providing preventive care under the Affordable Care Act. For example, the hospital will have a new urgent-care center, as well as outpatient and public health clinics (Karlamangla, Los Angeles Times, 3/28).
Saddleback Memorial Medical Center, San Clemente
MemorialCare Health System will continue conducting a feasibility study on replacing Saddleback Memorial Medical Center's San Clemente campus with an outpatient facility as a way to maintain emergency department services during an overhaul of the campus, the Orange County Register reports (Swegles, Orange County Register, 3/26).
In November 2014, a committee tasked with researching how to maintain ED access in the area asked the health system to keep SMMC-San Clemente open through 2015 as it considers how to prevent the campus' closure or maintain other ED services, possibly through legislation (California Healthline, 11/14/14).
According to Tony Struthers, the hospital's administrator, the hospital's board of directors decided to continue the feasibility study -- which began in August 2014 -- because new legislation has been introduced, making a free-standing ED a possibility (Orange County Register, 3/26).
UC-San Francisco Benioff Children's Hospital, Oakland
UC-San Francisco Benioff Children's Hospital at a recent fundraising event raised more than $215,000 for childhood cancer research, according to a hospital release.
The funding was raised by teams of 242 participants during the hospital's eighth annual St. Baldrick's Foundation head-shaving event (Hospital release, 3/30).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.