California Hospital News Roundup for the Week of December 6, 2013
On Nov. 21, Alameda Health System approved an affiliation with Alameda Hospital, the Contra Costa Times reports. The transfer of Alameda Hospital's license is expected to take about 90 days.
Under the affiliation, the Alameda Health Care District will retain ownership of the property and leases connected with the hospital, while Alameda Health system will take over day-to-day operations and provide funding for facility improvements and upgrades. Hospital officials said no layoffs or reductions in service are planned (Hegarty, Contra-Costa Times, 11/27).
Borrego Community Health Foundation
Borrego Community Health Foundation will use an $816,667 grant from the federal Health Resources and Services Administration to build medical clinics in San Jacinto and Anza, which are both considered medically underserved, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reports. The foundation is expected to have the clinics in operation by next spring, as stipulated by the grant.
The foundation currently is scouting locations for the clinics, which will target the communities of San Jacinto, Nuevo, Homeland, Anza, Mountain Center and Aguanga (Wesson, Riverside Press-Enterprise, 11/26).
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center; UCLA Health System
On Tuesday, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, UCLA Health System and Pennsylvania-based Select Medical Holdings announced plans to jointly renovate a 138-bed rehabilitation hospital in Century City, the Los Angeles Times reports. The hospital has been closed for about four years.
Under the partnership, the hospital is scheduled to reopen in 2015 and serve the increasing demand for inpatient rehabilitation for patients who have had strokes, spinal cord injuries and brain injuries (Terhune, Los Angeles Times, 12/2).
Corona Regional Medical Center
On Nov. 30, Corona Regional Medical Center filed an appeal to a National Labor Relations Board ruling that upheld a vote by nurses at the medical center to join the United Nurses Associations of California/Union of Health Care Professionals, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reports (Ghori, Riverside Press-Enterprise, 12/2).
In the Nov. 15 ruling, a judge rejected claims by the hospital that pro-union physicians and appeals to racial prejudice had interfered with the election and invalidated the vote (California Health Line, 11/21).
In related news, CRMC on Wednesday announced it will reopen its pediatric unit within the next 30 days. The unit was closed three months ago.
The center also laid off about 40 nurses -- mostly licensed vocational nurses and nurses' aides -- in a separate decision to reorganize staff (Ghori, Riverside Press-Enterprise, 12/4).
Kaiser Permanente, Vacaville
On Nov. 21, Kaiser Permanente officially upgraded its trauma center from Level III to Level II, the Sacramento Business Journal reports. The hospital opened the $500 million center in 2009 and obtained Level III designation in 2011.
Kaiser Permanente spent an additional $10 million to boost the center's trauma services.
The center currently is the only Level II trauma center for the county (Robertson, Sacramento Business Journal, 11/22).
On Wednesday, Palomar Health became the first California provider to join the Mayo Clinic Care Network, U-T San Diego reports. Under the collaboration, Palomar physicians will have access to Mayo Clinic specialists and other expertise through digital tools.
Michael Covert, CEO of Palomar, said the provider will pay about $700,000 annually to participate in the network (Sisson, U-T San Diego, 12/4).
Riverside Community Hospital
A lawsuit filed against Riverside Community Hospital claims that the hospital waited 26 days to report that a man with a seizure disorder might be unfit to drive -- a delay which allowed the man to remain licensed on the day that he crashed his car following an on-road seizure, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reports.
According to court documents, the man was treated at Riverside Community Hospital on Nov. 15, 2012, after suffering a seizure at work, but the hospital did not report the diagnosis to the Riverside County Department of Public Health until Dec. 11, 2012. DPH then forwarded the report to the Department of Motor Vehicles on Dec. 17, 2012, but it is unclear when the DMV received the report. The DMV signed an acknowledgement of receipt on Dec. 28, 2012, the same day that Williams crashed his car (Rokos, Riverside Press-Enterprise, 11/22).
Riverside County Regional Medical Center
On Nov. 25, Riverside County officials announced that Doug Bagley -- the former CEO of Riverside County Regional Medical Center -- will receive more than $900,000 and a public pension as he leaves the position, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reports. The Medical Center currently is losing $1 million a week and is scheduled to end fiscal year 2013 with a shortfall of nearly $54 million.
Bagley's departing payment is an accumulation of unused vacation days, severance pay, retirement account funds and salary for being a temporary employee prior to his tenure as administrator (Horseman, Riverside Press-Enterprise, 11/25).
Temecula Valley Hospital
Last month, the Temecula Valley Planning Commission unanimously approved plans for a 12,545 square-foot surgery center to be built near the Temecula Valley Hospital, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reports.
According to the Press-Enterprise, two doctors who manage other outpatient surgery centers in the area purchased the land (Claverie, Riverside Press-Enterprise, 11/23).
University of California
The California Nurses Association has ratified a contract giving nearly 12,000 nurses at 10 University of California health care facilities a 16% wage increase over the next four years, the San Francisco Business Times' "Bay Area BizTalk" reports (Rauber, "Bay Area BizTalk," San Francisco Business Times, 12/3).
The contract maintains current medical, pension and retiree health care benefits, but it also contains a no-strike clause (Robertson, Sacramento Business Journal, 12/3).
Watsonville Community Hospital
On Dec. 3, registered nurses at Watsonville Community Hospital held a one-day strike to protest what they claim were bad faith bargaining tactics used by the hospital during contract negotiations, the Santa Cruz Sentinel reports. The strike is one of three held by nurses working at hospitals operated by Community Health Systems, where contract negotiations similarly have failed.
Sue Fendley, a regional representative for the California Nurses Association, said that the Watsonville nurses were denied information about how the hospital evaluates patient conditions to determine staffing levels, which led to a filing claiming unfair labor practices (Gumz, Santa Cruz Sentinel, 12/2).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.