Calif. Hospital News Roundup for the Week of Feb. 26, 2010
Community Regional Medical Center, Fresno
Community Regional Medical Center has eliminated 38 staff positions as part of an effort to cut costs, the Fresno Bee reports.
Hospital officials said eliminated positions included:
- Administrative secretaries;
- Patient-care assistants;
- Patient-monitor technicians;
- Obstetric aides; and
- Transporters (Fresno Bee, 2/22).
Hoag Hospital Irvine
Between 4,000 and 5,000 people applied for jobs at Hoag Hospital Irvine in a single month, and the facility still is at least six months away from opening, the Orange County Register reports.
The hospital will offer about 800 full-time equivalent staff positions, including nurses, clinical technicians, custodians, and security and maintenance workers (Hamilton, Orange County Register, 2/22).
Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center, Thousand Oaks
Administrators at Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center say that Heritage Provider Network is referring patients to other facilities because Los Robles does not have a contract with the physician group, the Ventura County Star reports.
In November, Heritage bought the Lakeside Community Healthcare physicians' group, which has about 200,000 patients in Southern California. According to hospital officials, before the merger Lakeside patients often received care at Los Robles.
Heritage senior executive Jonathan Gluck denied the claims and suggested that Los Robles is telling patients that they cannot receive care at the facility to get Heritage to pay higher rates (Kisken, Ventura County Star, 2/18).
Mayers Memorial Hospital District, Fall River Mills
The California Department of Public Health has issued a $50,000 fine against Mayers Memorial Hospital District for an incident involving a patient death, the Redding Record Searchlight reports.
It is the hospital's fifth citation in just over a year (Sabalow, Redding Record Searchlight , 2/18).
In other news, the hospital district is in the early stages of talks with Catholic Healthcare West, Prime Healthcare Services and Reno-based Renown Health about forming a partnership.
Hospital board President Mike Kerns said a partnership could help Mayers fund upgrades to its billing system and other "big ticket costs" (Sabalow, Redding Record SearchlightÂ , 2/18).
Mercy Medical Center, Merced
On Feb. 17, the Merced Irrigation District presented a check for $119,700 to Mercy Medical Center for exceeding energy efficiency requirements, the Merced Sun-Star reports.
The facility is slated to open to patients on May 2 (Reiter, Merced Sun-Star, 2/18).
San Joaquin General Hospital, Stockton
Last week, the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to approve a range of service and other operating changes at San Joaquin General Hospital to help bolster the facility's finances, the Stockton Record reports.
In addition, supervisors asked county staff to prepare language for a ballot initiative that would ask voters for a general tax increase to help fund hospital operations (Goldeen, Stockton Record, 2/17).
The board also approved a plan to close the hospital's pharmacy and instead use private pharmacies for the county health care program (Johnson, Stockton Record, 2/17).
San Leandro Surgery Center
For the second time, the Eden Township Healthcare District board has voted to delay the sale of the San Leandro Surgery Center for one month, the Oakland Tribune reports.
The latest delay came after a conflict of interest involving several district board members surfaced.
In 2009, the board approved selling the district's stake in the facility to Sutter Health's Eden Medical Center for $1.1 million (Sweeney, Oakland Tribune, 2/19).
Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas
Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas has started construction on an expansion that includes a new 883-space parking garage, a critical care facility and a medical office building, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
The project will cost more than $200 million.
In addition, the hospital plans to build a yet-to-be designed acute-care building that will have more beds and an intensive care unit (Mannes, San Diego Union-Tribune, 2/19).
Shasta Regional Medical Center, Redding
This week, Shasta Regional Medical Center announced that its inpatient diabetes program is the first in California to receive a Certificate for Advanced Inpatient Diabetes Care from the Joint Commission, the Redding Record Searchlight reports (Redding Record Searchlight, 2/23).
Radiological Associates of Sacramento filed a lawsuit in Sacramento Superior Court on Monday, seeking $1 million in unpaid fees from Sutter Health, the Sacramento Bee reports.
The lawsuit asserts that Sutter did not "pay the fair and reasonable value for the goods and services" RAS provided at two Sutter hospitals (Calvan, Sacramento Bee, 2/25).
Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento
Last week, Sutter Medical Center announced $1.6 million in grants to 17 local not-for-profit organizations, the Sacramento Business Journal reports (Johnson, Sacramento Business Journal, 2/17).
Medical center officials said the grants are intended to boost the local safety net (Hubert, Sacramento Bee, 2/19).
Valley Health System, Riverside County
On Tuesday, a U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge ruled that a group of doctors called Physicians for Healthy Hospitals has the means to buy Valley Health System's two hospitals, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reports.
The judge is still considering a motion by Prime Healthcare Services that seeks to block the sale, arguing that a member of the Valley Health System board has a conflict of interest with Physicians for Healthy Hospitals.
A decision by the VHS board blocked Prime from bidding for the hospitals (Hines, Riverside Press-Enterprise, 2/23).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.