California Hospital News Roundup for the Week of February 29, 2008
On Tuesday, the Fresno County Board of Supervisors agreed to negotiate extending Community Medical Centers' lease of the former University Medical Center site and lowering its $2 million annual payment, the Fresno Bee reports.
CMC still operates outpatient clinic services at the UMC site, and CMC's lease of the site expires on December 31. Community officials want to extend the lease to at least Dec. 31, 2009 (Correa, Fresno Bee, 2/26).
Federal officials last week notified Contra Costa Regional Medical Center that it passed a recent inspection after making changes in its psychiatric unit and resolving other problems, the Contra Costa Times reports.
The county-owned hospital had been under threat of losing nearly $300 million in annual federal funding, but federal officials concluded that the hospital successfully implemented corrective plans (Kleffman, Contra Costa Times, 2/22).
A panel that will discuss preventing the closure of St. Luke's Hospital does not include representatives from two labor unions that are working to keep it open, the San Francisco Business Times reports.
The Service Employees International Union and California Nurses Association, which have been fighting the decision by Sutter Health and California Pacific Medical Center to close the hospital, have not been asked to participate in the panel. Roughly half the panel has been chosen.
Kevin McCormack, a CPMC spokesperson, said invitations to join the panel were expected to be delivered last week (Rauber, San Francisco Business Times, 2/25).
Santa Clara County Medical Center has violated state law by routinely failing to notify prosecutors that they videotaped physical examinations of children who may have been sexually abused, the San Jose Mercury News reports.
A 2002 state law requires medical staff to fill out a form that indicates whether such exams are videotaped, which can be used as evidence in sexual assault cases.
David Tomkins, the assistant District Attorney for Santa Clara County, said prosecutors and medical staff have agreed to fill out the form for all cases going forward (Griffy, San Jose Mercury News, 2/26).
Nurses in the next few days will vote on whether to authorize a third strike against 11 Sutter Health hospitals in the Bay Area, the Contra Costa Times reports.
The nearly 5,000 nurses represented by the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee are voting on authorizing a strike of up to 10 days, which might not occur until mid-March or later, according to the Times. Previous strikes lasted two days.
The unions and the hospitals have been unable to agree on benefits, breaks and lifting procedures, among other issues (Kleffman, Contra Costa Times, 2/28).