California Hospital News Roundup for the Week of December 11, 2015
Beverly Hospital, Montebello
Beverly Hospital has received a nearly $40 million tax-exempt revenue bond from the California Statewide Communities Development Authority, Healthcare Finance News reports.
Proceeds from the bond will be used to reduce existing debt, fund several service expansion programs and obtain new technology (Lagasse, Healthcare Finance News, 12/4).
Dignity Health has announced that it will limit investments in thermal coal companies and instead focus on opportunities that address climate change, Healthcare Finance News reports.
Citing the health effects of climate change, Dignity also vowed to cut greenhouse gas emissions and increase its use of renewable energy. Shelly Schlenker -- vice president of public policy, advocacy and government affairs at the health system -- said, "Our healing mission requires us to recognize the impact of climate change as a prominent public health issue" (Lagasse, Healthcare Finance News, 12/3).
Kaiser Foundation Hospitals, Vallejo
The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health has fined Kaiser Foundation Hospitals in Vallejo nearly $150,000 for improperly disposing of used needles, the AP/San Jose Mercury News reports.
A Cal-OSHA investigation in June revealed that the hospital's needle deposit box frequently overflowed, preventing the container's lid from properly closing. At least three custodial employees were stuck by needles as result.
Since the investigation, Kaiser has replaced the disposal box with two larger containers and required that they be checked every 30 minutes (AP/San Jose Mercury News, 12/4).
Kaiser Permanente's new Manhattan Beach facility is scheduled to fully open on Jan. 6, 2016, the Torrance Daily Breeze reports.
The new $9 million, 9,000 square foot facility will start taking limited appointments on Dec. 16. The hospital initially will be staffed by six full-time physicians and house a nurse clinic, pharmacy, X-ray and laboratory services (Barnes, Torrance Daily Breeze, 12/3).
Mercy Medical Center, Merced
The American Civil Liberties Union and Physicians for Reproductive Health plan to file a lawsuit against Dignity Health -- the owner of Mercy Medical Center -- for denying two women's requests for tubal ligation unless the hospital agrees to provide the procedure, KQED's "State of Health" reports (Aliferis, "State of Health," KQED, 12/7).
In a Dec. 2 letter to Mercy Medical Center and Dignity Health, attorneys for ACLU and PRH said state law "does not permit hospitals open to the general public and supported by public funds to deny patients medically indicated pregnancy-related care."
In response, the hospital stated that "in general, it is our practice not to provide sterilization services at Dignity Health's Catholic facilities" because of religious directives. The hospital said it made exceptions for "the cure or alleviation of a present and serious pathology" (Egelko, San Francisco Chronicle, 12/6).
Petaluma Valley Hospital
The Petaluma Health Care District's board of directors has started a series of four public meetings to gather feedback as it works to identify criteria for selecting a new operator for Petaluma Valley Hospital, the Petaluma Argus-Courier reports.
Four organizations have submitted proposals to assume control of the hospital.
The board plans to adopt a decision-making framework by Jan. 19, 2016. A recommendation for a new hospital operator will be added to the ballot for final approval next year (Gneckow, Petaluma Argus-Courier, 12/3).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.