California Hospital News Roundup for the Week of August 1, 2008
Last week, the Thousand Oaks City Council amended the city's general plan to make changes to the land-use designation for 2.14 acres where Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center plans to build a new facility, the Ventura County Star reports.
The council also agreed to review permit applications for the proposed building and its parking structure simultaneously.
The changes keep Los Robles on track to comply with deadlines for California seismic safety rules (Rochester, Ventura County Star, 7/25).
On Tuesday, officials for Lucile Packard Children's Hospital and Stanford Hospital announced that they would no longer recognize the union that represents about 1,450 workers at the facilities, the San Jose Mercury News reports.
After a series of union mergers, the workers are now represented by United Healthcare Workers, but Stanford and LPCH officials said they cannot recognize the union because it was not selected in a direct election by hospital employees.
There has been no strike threat, and LPCH spokesperson Sarah Staley said hospital employees will continue receiving the same wages and benefits.
Union officials could not be reached for comment, according to the Mercury News (Hull, San Jose Mercury News, 7/30).
Marin General Hospital transferred $38.7 million to Sutter Health in 2007, the largest such transfer since Sutter began operating the facility in 1996, the San Francisco Business Times reports. The hospital reported net income of $33 million last year on $277 million in revenue.
Since 1996, Sutter officials say that the hospital chain has received about $75 million in transfers from Marin General and invested about $180 million.
However, the most recent transfer has drawn criticism from local activists who maintain that Sutter Health is absorbing large amounts of cash from the hospital before ending its operation of the facility sometime between Aug. 1, 2009, and mid-2010 (Rauber, San Francisco Business Times, 7/25).
On Monday, Oakdale mailed ballots to voters for a proposal that seeks approval for a bond measure to help build a new facility for Oak Valley Hospital, the Modesto Bee reports.
The measure would cost residents $12.13 per $100,000 of assessed value on their homes, on top of a separate assessment from a 2004 hospital bond measure.
Hospital CEO John Friel said measure supporters opted for a mail election because of concerns that other issues on the Nov. 4 statewide ballot would draw a large number of Republican voters who are more likely to oppose new taxes.
Ballots are due by Aug. 26. It is the hospital's second attempt this year to win approval for a bond measure (Estrada, Modesto Bee, 7/28).
The Sacramento City Planning Commission and the California Department of Public Health are reviewing applications for an expansion of Sierra Vista Hospital, the Sacramento Bee reports.
However, concerns about patient care at the psychiatric facility could hinder approval of the project, according to the Bee.
Sierra Vista has received two $25,000 fines in the past four months for patient care violations (Milbourn, Sacramento Bee, 7/29).
Sutter Roseville plans to open the first neonatal intensive care unit in Placer County on Sept. 3, the Sacramento Business Journal reports.
The Level III unit will have 16 beds, with the potential to expand to 24.
Kaiser Permanente's Roseville women's and children's center is set to include a 48-bed Level III neonatal ICU when it opens in January (Robertson, Sacramento Business Journal, 7/24).
On Monday, Tri-City Health Care District mailed ballots for a measure to fund construction of a new hospital facility in Oceanside to health care district residents, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
The measure seeks to raise property taxes for up to 40 years to help raise $589 million for a facility to replace Tri-City Medical Center. Similar measures fell short of the required two-thirds approval in 2006 (Sherman, San Diego Union-Tribune, 7/27).