California Hospital News Roundup for the Week of February 28, 2014
Alta Bates Summit Medical Center
Alta Bates Summit Medical Center has dropped plans to increase the hospital's "facility charge" per visit from $10 to $91 after cancer patients who receive acupuncture treatment at the facility criticized the change, the San Francisco Business Times' "Bay Area BizTalk" reports.
According to "Bay Area BizTalk," the additional fees would not have been covered by insurance and would have added to an already-existing $75 physician fee (Rauber, "Bay Area BizTalk," San Francisco Business Times, 2/26).
Desert Valley Hospital, Victorville
Truven Health Analytics has revoked Desert Valley Hospital's recognition in 2012 and 2013 as a top hospital in the U.S., Modern Healthcare reports.
The move comes after Desert Valley was sanctioned by the state Department of Public Health for failing to "ensure the safety of a patient when it did not follow established policies and procedures related to cardiac catheterization" (Robeznieks, Modern Healthcare, 2/26).
San Joaquin General Hospital
On Tuesday, the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors voted to disband a temporary advisory board that was created in 2010 to help guide San Joaquin General Hospital out of financial problems, the Stockton Record reports.
Officials with the Board of Supervisors said the advisory panel had successfully helped the hospital's financial situation, but it failed to complete some of its final tasks, including the establishment of a permanent board designed to take its place (Johnson, Stockton Record, 2/26).
St. Joseph Hospital, Orange
St. Joseph Hospital in Orange has laid off 152 employees as part of a larger plan designed to trim $30 million from the hospital's expenses in order to compensate for fewer patients and reduced reimbursements, the Orange County Register reports.
CEO Steven Moreau announced the layoffs in a Feb. 19 memo, in which he said the hospital will cut about 5% of its $550 million budget as part of its "financial turnaround plan." Under the plan, the hospital will not fill 18 other open positions, and it eliminated 10% of its management positions (Perkes, Orange County Register, 2/21).
Sutter Tracy Community Hospital
Registered nurses who work at Sutter Tracy Community Hospital planned to hold an informational picket this week to protest contract negotiation delays, the Sacramento Business Journal reports.
Hospital officials said the demonstration would not affect patient care (Robertson , Sacramento Business Journal, 2/26).
On Tuesday, UC-Davis and Jackson Laboratory announced they will expand their 15-year partnership for research and infrastructure support, the Sacramento Business Journal reports.
Under the agreement, the two organizations will launch several new initiatives in the coming year, including educational seminar programs (Robertson , Sacramento Business Journal, 2/26).
UC-Irvine recently opened the Sue and Ralph Stern Center for Cancer Clinical Trials and Research, which will provide clinical trials for advanced or treatment-resistant diseases, the Orange County Register reports.
The center -- funded by a $5 million donation from the Stern family -- will allow the university to conduct formal phase-one trial programs in order to test experimental treatments on humans for the first time (Graham, Orange County Register, 2/24).
UC-San Francisco's medical residency program for internal medicine was ranked fourth in the nation by physicians in a recent survey by U.S. News and Doximity, the San Francisco Business Times' "Bay Area BizTalk" reports. UCSF's program garnered a total of 579 nominations.
Other California programs ranked by the survey included Stanford University with 155 nominations and UCLA Medical Center with 131 nominations (Rauber, "Bay Area BizTalk," San Francisco Business Times, 2/20).
ValleyCare Health System
On Wednesday, ValleyCare Health System laid off 24 employees citing the fiscal challenges associated with the Affordable Care Act, the Contra Costa Times reports.
Specifically, ValleyCare eliminated 10 support staff positions from the system's Pleasanton campus and 14 positions at the Livermore campus, including 10 support staff and four part-time employees who worked at the campus' now-closed cardiac rehabilitation center. No patient care or hospital positions were eliminated (Tsai, Contra Costa Times, 2/20).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.