California Hospital News Roundup for the Week of August 29, 2014
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles
On Aug. 22, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center announced that at least 500 patients' medical data might have been compromised when an employee's laptop was stolen during a burglary in June, the Los Angeles Times reports.
According to Cedars-Sinai, the laptop's hard drive might have contained a combination of patients' lab testing information, treatments and diagnoses, Social Security numbers and other personal data. The medical center said it will mail letters to potentially affected individuals (Garland, Los Angeles Times, 8/22).
Desert Regional Medical Center, John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital
State and national medical trade groups and professionals have formed a group called the Coalition for Quality Hospital Care to oppose Tenet Healthcare's plan to replace existing contracts with independent physicians at Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs and John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital in Indio, the Palm Springs Desert Sun reports. Under the plan, Tenet would contract with an outside company to supply emergency department physicians, anesthesiologists and hospitalists.
Coalition members said that Tenet leadership did not consult the hospitals' medical staff and have not considered how the decision could interrupt workflow and affect patient care. DRMC spokesperson Rich Ramhoff said that while the decision was not yet final, the hospitals have consulted medical professionals and community leaders throughout the process (Pelham, Desert Sun, 8/27).
Doctors Medical Center, San Pablo
California Assembly member Nancy Skinner (D) has introduced a bill (AB 39) that aims to keep Doctors Medical Center in operation by designating the facility as a public hospital, thereby increasing its Medi-Cal reimbursements by about $4 million annually, the Contra Costa Times reports. Medi-Cal is California's Medicaid program.
However, the measure would still leave the hospitals about $14 million short of the revenue needed to operate without a deficit, according to the Times (Ioffee, Contra Costa Times, 8/23).
Glendale Adventist Medical Center
On Wednesday, Glendale Adventist Medical Center agreed to pay the city of Los Angeles $700,000 to settle allegations that the facility over the past four years dumped individuals with mental illnesses on skid row without the city's consent, KPCC's "KPCC News" reports (Aguilera/Glickman, "KPCC News," KPCC, 8/27).
According to the AP/KPCC's "KPCC News," the charges were made in a lawsuit filed by city attorneys (KPCC news, KPCC, 8/23). The hospital denied the allegations but agreed to pay $500,000 in penalties, $100,000 to L.A. Family Housing and $100,000 for the city's legal fees in the suit ("KPCC News," AP/KPCC, 8/27).
Integrated Community Care Center, Los Angeles
On Friday, the Department of Veterans Affairs' Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System will officially open its new Integrated Community Care Center Veteran homeless program, according to a VA Greater Los Angeles release.
The center will streamline care given to homeless veterans by providing same-day access to primary care, mental health care and substance misuse care, as well as housing (VA Greater Los Angeles release, 8/20).
Kaiser Permanente, Redwood City
Kaiser Permanente's new Redwood City hospital is on track to open in December, with construction on the 280,000-square-foot building nearly complete, the San Jose Mercury News reports.
The new hospital will have 149 beds, nearly 90% of which are in private rooms. It also will include additional labor and delivery rooms, a neuroscience-neurosurgery center and an expanded emergency department with 24 private patient rooms (Eslinger, San Jose Mercury News, 8/27).
UC-San Francisco Benioff Children's Hospital, Oakland
Union-represented resident physicians at UC-San Francisco's Benioff Children's Hospital are taking a no-confidence vote on the hospital management's negotiator after contract talks between the two sides continue to remain unresolved after 16 months, the San Jose Mercury News reports.
Committee of Interns and Residents spokesperson Asella Donovan-Blood said physicians are taking the vote because the hospital's management refused to consider the union's latest counter-proposal, which includes salary increases, among other items.
She said results from the no-confidence vote could be announced as early as Friday (San Jose Mercury News, 8/22).
Veterans Affairs Health Clinic, Sorrento Valley
On Aug. 22, the Department of Veterans Affairs opened a new health center in Sorrento Valley that is expected to reduce appointment wait times for first-time patients, U-T San Diego reports.
The 10,000-square-foot, $1.7 million clinic has been under development for the past six years and is staffed and equipped to provide about 17,000 outpatient appointments annually. The clinic features four primary care teams and 15 exam rooms, as well various meeting and treatment rooms.
The clinic provides primary care and laboratory services, group and individual counseling, women's health care services and various classes (Walker, U-T San Diego, 8/22).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.