California Hospital News Roundup for the Week of August 26, 2011
Eisenhower Medical Center, Rancho Mirage
Moody's Investors Service has placed Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage on its watch list for a possible debt-rating downgrade, the AP/San Diego Union-Tribune reports (AP/San Diego Union-Tribune, 8/22).
According to an unaudited financial report, the 289-bed facility posted a fiscal year 2011 operating loss of $30.8 million. For FY 2010, the facility reported an operating profit of $22.8 million (Payers & Providers, 8/25).
According to analysts, the not-for-profit hospital's cash flow also is deteriorating, falling from $67.6 million last fiscal year to $30.3 million currently (AP/San Diego Union-Tribune, 8/22).
Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento Medical Center
On Thursday, Kaiser Permanente opened a five-story tower that marks the final piece of a five-year, $300 million expansion project at South Sacramento Medical Center, the Sacramento Bee reports.
The 158,000 square-foot tower has 217 beds and will focus on intensive care for critically ill patients (Smith, Sacramento Bee, 8/25). Forty-eight of the beds will be private medical-surgery beds and 30 will be intensive care beds (Robertson, Sacramento Business Journal, 8/19).
Kaiser officials said admitting and outpatient pharmacy services will start on Sept. 12, and patients will be moved into the new tower beginning Sept. 28 (Sacramento Bee, 8/25).
Marin General Hospital, Greenbrae
Marin General Hospital is offering a 25% medical bill discount to insured patients who pay promptly and up to a 50% discount to uninsured patients who pay on time, the Marin Independent Journal reports.
Marin General Hospital CFO David Cox said the 25% discount generally is available to insured patients who pay their deductible when they receive treatment or when they are discharged. He said the discount also could be extended to patients who pay soon after finding out what they owe.
Cox said the hospital is providing an automatic 40% discount to uninsured patients and would add an additional 10% reduction if Â such patients pay their bill on time (Halstead, Marin Independent Journal, 8/20).
San Gorgonio Memorial Hospital, Banning
Construction of the new two-story emergency department and intensive care unit at San Gorgonio Memorial Hospital in Banning is slated to be finished by the first quarter of 2013, according to project manager Kay Lang, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reports.
The first floor will have 23 exam rooms, including two trauma rooms, for emergency medicine. The second floor will house 16 intensive care rooms, as well as two nurse stations.
The construction is part of a number of projects the hospital district has undertaken that are funded by a 2006 bond measure (Waldner, Riverside Press-Enterprise, 8/21).
Scripps Health, Sharp Healthcare, San Diego
The not-for-profit health systems Scripps Health and Sharp Healthcare have announced that they provided millions in community benefit initiatives last year, the Union-Tribune reports.
Scripps Health announced it spent $338 million on community benefit programs last year. Scripps said it spent $228.1 million on care that was under-reimbursed by Medicare and Medi-Cal, California's Medicaid program, and $43.4 million in charity care to people without insurance. Scripps also said it spent $16.7 million on community health services that included educational programs and screenings, and $34.8 million on training initiatives and research.
Meanwhile, Sharp Healthcare said it spent $335.9 million on community benefit programs in 2010. Sharp said it spent $325.3 million in uncompensated care, $4.2 million on training and research, and more than $6 million on screenings, educational programs, donations and transportation services for the elderly (Lavelle, San Diego Union-Tribune, 8/25).
UC-Davis Medical Center, Sacramento
On Tuesday, the Sacramento City Council voted to move forward with a plan that would shift UC-Davis Medical Center from its current district in Oak Park to one that covers Elmhurst, Tahoe Park and other neighborhoods in the southeast section of the city, the Bee reports.
Opponents of the shift argue that moving the hospital from its current district would cut off Oak Park from a key driver of the economy.
Council member Kevin McCarty, who voted for the plan, said his district's neighborhoods are tied to hospital-related issues. The council has until Sept. 6 to finalize the redistricting plan (Lillis, Sacramento Bee, 8/24).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.