California Hospital News Roundup for the Week of December 7, 2012
Atascadero State Hospital
Last week, California's Division of Occupational Safety and Health, also known as Cal-OSHA, issued safety citations totaling $27,000 against Atascadero State Hospital, the Los Angeles Times reports.
According to Cal-OSHA, hospital workers experienced an average of 10 patient-caused injuries each month between January and September 2012. Cal-OSHA officials said that "corrective measures to control these hazards were not effectively implemented."
Cal-OSHA also fined the hospital $450 for improperly erasing the names of injured workers from documents (Romney, Los Angeles Times, 12/3).
El Camino Hospital
Last week, the El Camino Hospital board voted to authorize its legal counsel to file a lawsuit against Measure M, which would cap annual salaries for El Camino executives at twice the California governor's salary, the San Jose Mercury News reports.
Measure M appeared on the Nov. 6 ballot. According to the latest unofficial election results, 51.55% of voters supported the measure, which requires a simple majority to pass.
Carlyn Foster -- spokesperson for the Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West -- said that the measure is intended to balance how the publicly funded hospital allocates its resources.
In a statement, the board said that it believes that the measure is "illegal and an abuse of the initiative process" (Green, San Jose Mercury News, 12/1).
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles; Stanford Hospital & Clinics, Palo Alto
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and Stanford Hospital & Clinics have reduced their superficial colorectal surgical site infections by 32% over a two-year period in partÂ by participating in a nationwide initiative to reduce such infections, Payers & Providers reports.
The hospitals also were able to reduce the average length of stay for patients with the infections from 15 days to 13 days (Payers & Providers, 11/29).
Officials from Kaiser Permanente have submitted a conceptual plan application to build a 1.2 million square-foot hospital in Temecula, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reports.
The plan includes the two-tower hospital -- which would bring an additional 250 hospital beds to the region -- and several medical office buildings (Rodriguez, Riverside Press-Enterprise, 11/29).
St. John's Health Center, Santa Monica
Last week, Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth Health System -- a Catholic not-for-profit that owns Saint John's Health Center -- dismissed the hospital's CEO, its COO and 15 members of its 17-person board of directors, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Mike Wall -- former CEO of Northridge Hospital Medical Center -- has been named interim president and CEO at Saint John's, replacing former CEO Lou Lazatin.
Patrick Soon-Shiong -- a Los Angeles billionaire who has committed $100 million to the hospital in recent years -- said he was surprised at the sudden change in management and is "really not sure of the motivations" behind the move.
Michael Slubowski -- CEO of SCL Health System -- said, "We are setting off on a new strategic direction that we think is in the best interests of the community and the hospital" (Terhune, Los Angeles Times, 12/1).
St. John's Pleasant Valley Hospital, Camarillo; St. John's Regional Medical Center, Oxnard
Dignity Health plans to lay off 50 nurses and other workers at St. John's Pleasant Valley Hospital in Camarillo and St. John's Regional Medical Center in Oxnard, effective Jan. 31, 2013, the Ventura County Star reports.
Rita O'Connor -- director of communications for Dignity -- said that the layoffs are part of the facilities' preparation efforts for implementing the Affordable Care Act.
Hospital officials did not say how many layoffs would occur at each hospital.
Steve Trossman -- a spokesperson for SEIU-UHW -- said union officials are gathering details about the layoffs and hope to meet with hospital administrators this week (Gregory, Ventura County Star, 12/3).
Thousand Oaks Surgical Hospital
The Hospital Corporation of America -- which owns Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center in Thousand Oaks -- has completed its purchase of Thousand Oaks Surgical Hospital, the Ventura County Star reports.
On Monday, employees of both hospitals received a letter from lead administrators at both facilities that said Thousand Oaks will continue to operate as a surgical facility at its current location.
The letter also said that all employees at Thousand Oaks will keep their jobs (Kisken, Ventura County Star, 12/3).
ValleyCare Health System, Pleasanton
The UC-San Francisco Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center plans to collaborate with the ValleyCare Health System in Pleasanton to increase the hospital's access to oncology sub-specialists, the San Francisco Business Times reports.Officials from the cancer center and ValleyCare in a joint statement said that the collaboration also will make it easier for ValleyCare cancer patients to enroll in clinical trials funded by NIH (Rauber, San Francisco Business Times, 12/4). 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.