California Hospital News Roundup for the Week of February 19, 2009
Community Memorial Hospital, Ventura
On Feb. 18, Community Memorial Hospital officials announced that the hospital will eliminate 56 staff positions in its business department but try to avoid layoffs by shifting workers to other positions in the Community Memorial Health System, the Ventura County Star reports.
The hospital is outsourcing its billing and collections functions to Chicago-based Accretive Health (Kisken, Ventura County Star, 2/18).
Olive View-UCLA Medical Center, Sylmar
On Feb. 12, county, state and federal officials said that funding from the economic stimulus package will be used to rebuild facilities at Olive View-UCLA Medical Center, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.
The facilities -- which include storage facilities, a day care center for children of workers, a coroner's trailer and an information systems building -- were destroyed in a fire last year.
Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky said the rebuilding effort could cost millions of dollars and take from 18 months to two years to complete (Abram, Los Angeles Daily News, 2/13).
South Coast Medical Center, Laguna Beach
South Coast Medical Center will close its sub-acute ward, which has been generating financial losses, the Orange County Register reports.
Recently, Mission Hospital bought South Coast for $35.7 million, although officials at both hospitals say the closing is not related to the acquisition.
South Coast spokesperson Alicia Gonzalez said hospital expenses had been under review long before it was put up for sale (Perkes, Orange County Register, 2/13).
St. Jude Medical Center, Fullerton
On Feb. 12, St. Jude Medical Center opened its Southwest Tower, which houses catheter, maternity and emergency departments, the Register reports.
The opening of the $125-million tower is the first part of St. Jude's planned $1 billion in construction efforts to comply with state seismic safety rules (Giasone, Orange County Register, 2/12).
Watsonville Community Hospital
On Jan. 19, Watsonville Community Hospital opened a new "fast track" unit in its emergency department, the Santa Cruz Sentinel reports.The unit houses four to seven beds and is intended to help avoid overcrowding in the ED (Gumz, Santa Cruz Sentinel, 2/19). 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.