California Hospital News Roundup for the Week of August 31, 2012
Clovis Community Medical Center
The Clovis Community Medical Center Board of Trustees recently approved construction of a new conference center for training doctors and educating patients, The Business Journal reports.
The center will include a 200-seat auditorium and a 100-seat foyer, in addition to conference rooms and computer training rooms.
The construction project will use $4.2 million in philanthropic gifts (The Business Journal, 8/14).
Coalinga Regional Medical Center; Community Regional Medical Center, Fresno; Tulare Regional Medical Center
Three Fresno-area hospitals have been fined for having too many Medicare beneficiaries return to the hospital within one month of being discharged, the Fresno Bee reports.
Authorized by the federal health reform law, the fines penalize hospitals for readmissions of Medicare beneficiaries who had been treated for heart attack, heart failure or pneumonia.
The three Fresno-area hospitals facing penalties are:
- Coalinga Regional Medical Center, which is facing the maximum fine of 1% of its Medicare reimbursement, or about $16,000;
- Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno, which is being fined 0.85% of its Medicare reimbursement, or about $500,000; and
- Tulare Regional Medical Center, which is facing the maximum fine of 1% of its Medicare reimbursement, or about $106,000.
Hospital executives said that readmissions often are affected by factors beyond the hospitals' control, such as patients' inability to afford prescription drugs (Anderson, Fresno Bee, 8/27).
Stanford Hospital & Clinics
Last week, Stanford Hospital & Clinics announced that it has acquired CareCounsel, an employer-sponsored health care advocacy and assistance company, the North Bay Business Journal reports. Officials did not disclose the terms of the acquisition.
According to Stanford, CareCounsel will continue to operate independently and provide services to health insurance brokers, employers and other clients while using Stanford's resources to enhance its offerings (Verel, North Bay Business Journal, 8/24).
Sutter Memorial Hospital, Sacramento
On Tuesday, Richard DeFelice -- a physician at Sutter Memorial Hospital -- said the facility is taking steps to rid its neonatal intensive care unit of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, the Sacramento Bee reports.
About 20 infants recently tested positive for MRSA, while two others showed symptoms of the bacteria.DeFelice said Sutter Memorial workers are following infection control policies, including separating infants who have tested positive for MRSA from other infants. He said workers also are performing surveillance cultures on infants to learn if the bacteria still is spreading (Lindelof, Sacramento Bee, 8/29). 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.