California Hospital News Roundup for the Week of January 18, 2008
Catholic Healthcare West has awarded community grants worth a total of $491,500 to 25 not-for-profit organizations in Sacramento, Yolo and Nevada counties, the Sacramento Business Journal reports.
The grants, which range from $5,000 to $25,000, will go toward issues such as:
- Alzheimer's disease;
- Chronic disease management; and
- Community-based health care services for all ages.
The grants are funded by contributions from CHW's member hospitals (Johnson, Sacramento Business Journal, 1/14).
On Tuesday, San Bernardino County's Board of Supervisors and the Needles City Council failed to reach an agreement on how to continue operations at Colorado River Medical Center, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reports.
Supervisors approved a proposal to take over the medical center, but the council wants to retain control of the city-owned facility.
Under the county's proposal, the hospital's emergency department would be downgraded to an urgent care center and inpatient services would be downgraded to a family clinic.
Needles officials blamed the hospital's poor financial performance on its previous management company, Lifepoint Hospitals. Officials maintained that it could improve the facility's bottom line if given the opportunity (Ghori, Riverside Press-Enterprise, 1/16).
Doctors Medical Center is expected to receive $36 million over three years in federal Medicaid funds funneled through the state, the Contra Costa Times reports.
The hospital, which declared bankruptcy in October 2006, will use the funds to file a plan to resolve a pending bankruptcy proceeding, according to John Gioia, chair of the joint powers agency that oversees the hospital.
Gioia noted that the hospital has reduced its annual structural deficit from about $30 million to $17 million. He added, however, that further reductions are unlikely given the high number of uninsured and Medi-Cal patients that seek treatment at the hospital (Lochner, Contra Costa Times, 1/16).
On Feb. 29, Eden Medical Center will close a skilled nursing facility it has operated for 18 years at Baywood Court Retirement Community, the Contra Costa Times reports.
George Bischalaney, president and CEO of the medical center, said the hospital plans to focus on hospital-based, acute-care services and not long-term care. He added that low patient volume at the nursing facility led to its planned closure.
Patients in the facility will be relocated to another nursing home (Holzmeister, Contra Costa Times, 1/11).
On Thursday, Los Angeles attorneys from Public Counsel and the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit against Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center for allegedly dropping off a paraplegic homeless patient on a street in Skid Row after a failed attempt to take him to a Los Angeles mission, the Los Angeles Daily News reports (Anderson, Los Angeles Daily News, 1/17).
The lawsuit, filed on behalf of the patient, seeks an unspecified amount of punitive and compensatory damages against the hospital for elder abuse, negligence and infliction of emotional distress.
The lawsuit also seeks an injunction that would prohibit the hospital and the transportation company from "homeless dumping" (Blankstein/Bloomekatz, Los Angeles Times, 1/18).
Kaiser Permanente Medical Center submitted a plan to Fontana planning officials last month to replace the current facility with a new hospital that complies with state seismic safety standards, the Press-Enterprise reports.
In its application to the city, Kaiser officials said, "The existing hospital buildings pose physical and functional obstacles that make it difficult to accommodate new technologies and new treatment modalities."
Orlando Hernandez, a senior planner for Fontana's Planning Department, estimated it would take eight months to a year for the department to review the proposal. The plan then would require approval from the city's planning commission.
In related news, Kaiser broke ground Wednesday on its Ontario Vineyard Medical Center in Ontario. Construction of the 224-bed hospital is slated to be completed by 2011 (Bender, Riverside Press-Enterprise, 1/12).
The San Mateo County Health Foundation announced it will commit $1.9 million toward renovations and expansions at San Mateo Medical Center, the San Jose Business Journal reports.
The foundation will fund a $1.5 million expansion of the Ron Robinson Senior Care Center, which treats 3,000 patients annually.
The remaining $400,000 will be used to renovate the Fair Oaks Children's Clinic in Redwood City, which serves more than 4,500 children (Solovitch, San Jose Business Journal, 1/15).
Sutter Health officials confirmed this week that Mills-Peninsula Health Services will run the Peninsula Medical Center in Burlingame and inpatient care at the proposed hospital in San Carlos, the San Francisco Business Times reports.
Meanwhile, the Palo Alto Medical Foundation will run outpatient operations at the proposed San Carlos facility.
The $375 million facility and affiliated medical complex is scheduled to open by 2011, but it is unlikely that it will open before 2012 or 2013, according to David Druker, president and CEO of PAMF (Rauber, San Francisco Business Times, 1/11).