California Hospital News Roundup for the Week of December 4, 2009
Alameda Hospital, Oakland
Kaiser Permanente will not renew its surgical services contract with Alameda Hospital after it expires on March 31, 2010, the Contra Costa Times reports.
Members of Kaiser will receive surgical services at the HMO's own facilities once the contract expires (Ellson, Contra Costa Times, 11/19).
Glendale Adventist Medical Center, Los Angeles
On Nov. 13, officials at Glendale Adventist Medical Center announced that 10 patients had accidentally been exposed to three to four times the normal radiation dose from CT scans used to diagnose strokes in 2009, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The dosage errors were discovered during a county-led inspection of Glendale Methodist's General Electric CT scanner on Nov. 10. The inspection was part of a county-wide investigation into the amount of radiation used in CT scanners after Cedars-Sinai Medical Center reported that 260 people received overdoses over an 18-month period (Zarembo, Los Angeles Times, 11/21).
John Muir Medical Center, Concord/Walnut Creek
Employees of John Muir Health have contributed $1.8 million toward $800 million in renovation and expansion projects for the John Muir Medical Center's Concord and Walnut Creek campuses, the Contra Costa Times reports (Nardi, Contra Costa Times, 12/1).
The capital campaign started in 2007 with the goal of raising $60 million.Â To date, more than $40 million has been contributed (Rauber, San Francisco Business Times, 12/1).
Kerlan-Jobe Orthopedic Clinic, Los Angeles
In a settlement announced Tuesday, Kerlan-Jobe Orthopedic Clinic agreed to pay $3 million to the federal government to settle allegations that it received kickbacks for referring patients to HealthSouth, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The sports medicine clinic, which often works with professional sports teams, allegedly received kickbacks in the form of donations to its philanthropic foundation, stock-option grants, loan forgiveness on an equipment lease and a high-ownership interest in an ambulatory surgery center it co-owned with HealthSouth, the U.S. attorney's office said.
Kerlan-Jobe has two weeks to pay the settlement (Lopez, Los Angeles Times, 12/2).
San Joaquin General Hospital, Stockton
San Joaquin General Hospital's deficit rose by $2 million more than expected during the first quarter of the fiscal year that began on July 1, the Stockton Record reports. The large deficit was attributed to:
- The recession;
- A higher-than-expected average number of bed vacancies;
- A high proportion of indigent or uninsured patients; and
- Two cases in which indigent patients required medical care from outside the county (Johnson, Stockton Record, 11/15).
San Ramon Regional Medical Center
On Tuesday, officials at San Ramon Regional Medical Center announced that construction on a $10.7 million expansion to the hospital's emergency department and clinical laboratory will commence on Dec. 15, the San Francisco Business Times reports.
The project is expected to take between 18 and 24 months to complete (Rauber, San Francisco Business Times, 11/24).
Sutter Roseville Medical Center
On Nov. 20, members of the Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West voted 242-45 to approve a new three-year contract with Sutter Roseville Medical Center, the Sacramento Business Journal reports.
The contract covers 617 respiratory therapists, surgical technicians, dietary and housecleaning employees and others employed by the hospital (Robertson, Sacramento Business Journal, 11/23).
During the span of the contract, employees will receive a minimum pay raise of 16%. The contract also retains language that bans subcontracting or the transfer of staff to other Sutter facilities and preserves employer-sponsored health insurance benefits (Glover, Sacramento Bee, 11/24).
Riverside Community Hospital
Riverside Community Hospital will expand its concierge service as part of an effort to increase patient satisfaction rates and build the facility's business, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reports.
The service launched in 2004 as a tool to recruit and retain employees (Hines, Riverside Press-Enterprise, 11/26).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.