California Hospital News Roundup for the Week of April 30, 2010
Kaiser Permanente, Southern California
On April 26, Kaiser Permanente hospitals in Southern California absorbed the cost of 67 outpatient surgeries as part of its regional Free Surgery Day, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.
Benjamin Chu, president of the Kaiser Permanente Southern California region, said the Free Surgery Day is part of a larger effort by Kaiser and its community partners to provide no-cost surgical procedures to low-income, uninsured and underinsured individuals (Los Angeles Daily News, 4/26).
Loma Linda University Children's Hospital
Loma Linda University Children's Hospital recently opened its new Pediatric Hematology, Oncology, Blood and Marrow Center, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reports.
The new clinic is expected to serve about 800 children each year (Santschi, Riverside Press-Enterprise, 4/24).
Mercy Medical Center, Merced
On May 2, the new 194-bed, $260 million Mercy Medical Center in Merced will officially open to patients, the Merced Sun-Star reports.
The center was built in part to meet new seismic requirements (Reiter, Merced Sun-Star, 4/26).
Rady Children's Hospital, San Diego
South Dakota-based Sanford Health is collaborating with San Diego philanthropists Pam and Marty Wygod and Rady Children's Hospital to build a primary- and specialty-care pediatric clinic in Oceanside, the AP/Ventura County Star reports (AP/Ventura County Star, 4/22).
The Sanford Children's Clinic at Rady's Children Hospital will open in spring 2011. It will be housed in a 28,600-square-foot, two-story building (DarcÃ©, San Diego Union-Tribune, 4/21).
The facility will cost Sanford Health $5 million to $8 million. The Wygod's Rose Foundation is donating $2.5 million for the project (AP/Ventura County Star, 4/22).
San Leandro Hospital
Last week, County Supervisor Alice Lai-Bitker told the Eden Township Healthcare District board that a subsidy of $6.4 million to $9 million could save San Leandro Hospital's emergency department and acute-care facility, the Contra Costa Times reports.
Sutter Health operates the facility for the county. It wants to sell the hospital to Alameda County Medical Center, which intends to close San Leandro's emergency department and acute-care facility and operate the hospital as a rehabilitation center.
The health care district is trying to block the sale and keep the emergency department --Â the only one in the county -- open (Sweeney, Contra Costa Times, 4/23).
Santa Paula Hospital
On April 1, the Ventura County Health Care Agency opened a $250,000, 3,315-square-foot physical and occupational therapy clinic at the Santa Paula Shopping Center to help Santa Paula Hospital deal with increased demand, the Ventura County Star reports.
Health officials expect the clinic to handle about 5,700 patient visits this year and 11,200 visits in 2011 (Molina, Ventura County Star, 4/22).
Seton Medical Center, Daly City
Hill Physicians Medical Group recently announced that it has reached an agreement with Seton Medical Center to provide patient care services, the San Francisco Business Times reports.Â
The agreement took effect immediately. It also lets nearby HMO members who see Hill Physicians' providers receive inpatient and outpatient care at the 357-bed facility. Hill Physicians already has agreements with Catholic Healthcare West hospitals and the University of California-San Francisco Medical Center (Rauber, San Francisco Business Times, 4/26).
Southwest Healthcare System, Riverside County
Southwest Healthcare System recently appealed three fines totaling $225,000 levied against them by the California Department of Public Health for patient safety violations, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reports. Southwest operates Rancho Springs Medical Center in Murrieta and Inland Valley Medical Center in Wildomar.
The company sent a letter to the state asking for an administrative hearing to address the fines.
Since the fines were first announced, the state has said that it will seek to revoke Southwest's operating license and CMS announced it will stop reimbursing the hospitals as of June 1 (Hill, Riverside Press-Enterprise, 4/26).
Tri-City Medical Center, Oceanside
Tri-City Medical Center in Oceanside has filed a lawsuit in Orange County Superior Court claiming that Citigroup failed to disclose the risks involved in using variable-rate bonds to refinance debt, the AP/Ventura County Star reports.
Tri-City Medical Center is seeking up to $20 million in the suit (AP/Ventura County Star, 4/28).
University of California-San Diego
Plans were recently released for a new 10-story, $664 million tower at the University of California-San Diego Medical Center campus in La Jolla, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
The Jacobs Medical Center is scheduled to open by late 2016. The design of the facility is specifically tailored to create a serene environment for patients by having lots of natural light, curved walls and nice views. The design is part of the growing movement that draws on recent research linking patient outcomes to hospital environments (DarcÃ©, San Diego Union-Tribune, 4/27).
University of California-San Francisco
On April 28, the University of California-San Francisco officially opened its three examination-room, 750-square-foot Visual Center for the Child, the San Francisco Business Times reports.
The facility received $2.6 million in funding from the That Man May See Inc. foundation.
According to foundation President Kathleen Rydar, $2 million of the of the $2.6 million was donated by an anonymous donor who allocated $1 million for research on the life-threatening childhood cancer retinoblastoma and $1 million for construction and equipment costs (Rauber, San Francisco Business Times, 4/23).
Valley Medical Center, San Jose
A new report has found that the inefficiencies at Santa Clara County's Valley Medical Center are making it harder for patients to access care and are significantly adding to the county's $250 million deficit, the San Jose Mercury News reports.
In addition, the 17-page report by the consulting firm Alvarez & Marsal found that VMC's staffing levels are unsustainable and that salary and benefits for non-physicians are well above other California hospitals.In early May, County Executive Jeff Smith is expected to present the county Board of Supervisors with recommendations on operational changes at VMC based on the report's findings (Seipel, San Jose Mercury News, 4/26). 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.