California Hospital News Roundup for the Week of August 13, 2010
Alameda Hospital is pursuing new operational strategies after Kaiser Permanente opted not to renew a nearly $10 million annual contract for outpatient surgeries, the San Francisco Business Times reports.
The five-year contract ended March 31 when Kaiser decided to shift its focus to its own expanded surgical facilities in Richmond and Oakland, a Kaiser official said. In response to the lost contract, Alameda Hospital has cut some workers' pay, renegotiated union contracts and expanded certain revenue-raising services (Rauber, San Francisco Business Times, 8/6).
Clovis Community Medical Center
Construction at Clovis Community Medical Center is expected to be completed in 2013, the Fresno Bee reports. The $285 million expansion and renovation project is slated to boost the hospital's capacity from 109 patient beds to 205 beds.
Officials estimate that the project will create about 4,000 construction jobs and an additional 600 jobs when the expansion is completed (Lee, Fresno Bee, 8/7).
Hoag Hospital Irvine
Next month, Hoag Hospital Irvine will take over the facility that previously housed Irvine Regional Hospital, which closed about 18 months ago, KPCC's "KPCC News" reports.
A Hoag Hospital official said that the $85 million renovation for the 154-bed medical center will help fill the need for a general acute-care facility in southern Orange County (Valot, "KPCC News," KPCC, 8/9).
Jerold Phelps Community Hospital, Garberville
The California Department of the Treasury has consented to loan the Southern Humboldt Community Healthcare District the necessary funds to complete a seismic safety retrofitting project that will allow Jerold Phelps Community Hospital to stay open through at least 2030, the Redwood Times reports.
In related news, the health care district's governing board recently voted to ask the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors to appoint Mike Hoffman to a board seat vacated by former board member Mike Thompson. Hoffman would occupy the position until November, when a new member could be elected (Graziani, Redwood Times, 8/9).
Kaiser Permanente South Medical Center, Sacramento
On Monday, Kaiser Permanente South Medical Center officially opened a $25 million, 8,600 square-foot emergency department expansion, the Sacramento Bee reports.
The expanded facility now has a larger ambulance area, additional space for trauma care and a decontamination shower (Lindelof, Sacramento Bee, 8/10)
In related news, Kaiser Permanente South recently partnered with the not-for-profit health center network The Effort to establish a youth violence prevention program (Robertson, Sacramento Business Journal, 8/6).
Marin Healthcare District
Marin Healthcare District has paid off a $12.5 million line of credit from Marin County, as well as more than $340,000 in interest, the San Francisco Business Times reports.
The health care district took out a $20 million line of credit from the county in 2008 to use as working capital and to pay for a new computer system. However, the district used only $12.5 million of the funds. The repayment comes after the health care district regained control of the 235-bed Marin General Hospital from its longtime operator Sutter Health (Rauber, San Francisco Business Times, 8/10).
Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital
In late August, physicians affiliated with Stanford Hospital & Clinics will begin providing services to kidney and pancreas transplant candidates at Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital's Ryan Ranch facility in Monterey, the Salinas Californian reports.
Salinas Valley's transplant program will offer pre- and post-operative care, while Stanford Hospital & Clinics will provide the transplant surgeries, according to a Salinas Valley spokesperson (Hornick, Salinas Californian, 8/10).
UC-Davis Medical Center, Sacramento
The California Department of Public Health is investigating whether UC-Davis Medical Center has complied with state staffing regulations, Capitol Public Radio's "KXJZ News" reports.
An official with the California Nurses Association provided documentation alleging that patient mishaps occur at UC-Davis Medical Center partially because hospital administrators do not follow the nurse staffing requirements.
UC-Davis officials deny the allegations and contend that the medical center meets mandated staffing levels (Sepulvado, "KXJZ News," Capitol Public Radio, 8/11).
Ventura County Medical Center
On Tuesday, more than 100 nurses from Ventura County Medical Center attended a Ventura County Board of Supervisors meeting and voiced their concerns about recent contract negotiations, the Ventura County Star reports.
Nurses said the county has asked them to suspend pay raises for three years and contribute almost 40% more toward their retirement plans. Full details of the contract discussions remain unknown, but mediation might be necessary to break the impasse, the Star reports (Molina, Ventura County Star, 8/10).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.