California Hospital News Roundup for the Week of July 10, 2009
Anaheim Memorial Medical Center
AHMC Healthcare has completed a deal to buy the 223-bed Anaheim Memorial Medical Center from Memorial Health Services for $60 million, the Orange County Register reports.
The state attorney general's office approved the sale last month after two earlier deals were denied and a third fell through because of financing.
The hospital has been on the market for more than two years due to declining patient revenue and the cost of seismic upgrades.
Under the terms of the sale, AHMC will invest $45 million in capital improvements over the next five years (Perkes, Orange County Register, 7/1).
California Pacific Medical Center, San Francisco
California Pacific Medical Center officials expect to receive necessary approval by the end of the summer to begin construction of the 550-bed Cathedral Hill Hospital, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
The proposed $1.7 billion hospital, which requires approval by the San Francisco Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors, is part of a $2.5 billion long-term CPMC plan that includes renovating and downsizing St. Luke's Hospital.
Advocates of the new facility say the changes will consolidate resources, offer better care at lower costs, better meet the needs of city residents and attract patients from the entire country.
However, critics say that the plans would take care away from the uninsured and neighborhoods that lack access to medical facilities in order to focus on specialized care for higher-income patients.
CPMC is an affiliate of Sutter Health (Allday, San Francisco Chronicle, 7/3).
Dominican Hospital, Santa Cruz
In their effort to achieve designation as a treatment center for the deadliest type of heart attack, administrators at Dominican Hospital are noting that the facility's response time to cardiac arrest cases, 72 minutes, is far below the American Heart Association's national benchmark of 90 minutes, the Santa Cruz Sentinel reports.
About one-third of hospitals across the U.S. meet the 90-minute benchmark.
The hospital is working with county officials to attain an ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction designation, which would direct all STEMI patients to Dominican rather than other local hospitals.
These patients would be treated in the hospital's new $3 million state-of-the-art catherization lab, the Sentinel reports (Jany, Santa Cruz Sentinel, 7/6).
El Camino Hospital, Los Gatos
On June 26, officials from El Camino Hospital in Los Gatos said the revamped facility, formerly Community Hospital of Los Gatos, will open July 12, the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal reports.
The hospital has been closed since April 10 when El Camino took control of it. The facility was purchased for $54 million after Tenet Healthcare, its former operator, announced it was leaving (Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal, 6/26).
In preparation for the opening, staff members are running hypothetical scenarios designed to test personnel and equipment (Peterson, San Jose Mercury News, 6/26).
Mercy Medical Center, Redding; UCSF Medical Center
On June 26, officials at Mercy Medical Center and UC-San Francisco Medical Center signed a letter of intent finalizing a collaboration that will link Mercy's oncologists and local physicians withÂ UCSF researchers in San Francisco, the Redding Record Searchlight reports.
The goal of the partnership is to:
- Share patient information;
- Reduce patients' need for follow-up visits and traveling; and
- Connect local doctors with the latest research.
Officials said the partnership also would improve communication between doctors at the two facilities (Sabalow, Redding Record Searchlight, 6/26).
Riverside County Regional Medical Center
Riverside County Regional Medical Center's inpatient and emergency psychiatric treatment facilities are crowded, fail to perform sufficient follow-up after releasing patients and use broken and grainy surveillance equipment to monitor the most aggressive and suicidal patients, according to a grand jury report issued June 10, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reports.
The report also said the county must improve efforts to provide outpatient mental health care to nonemergency patients.
Doug Bagley, CEO of the county-run hospital, said the county is aware of the crowding problem and is currently working on short- and long-term solutions, such as relocating Department of Mental Health offices and record storage units to allow the expansion of the existing emergency treatment facilities.
Bagley added that he could not respond directly to the report's finding because of county procedures for creating a formal response, which is due Sept. 8 (Glick, Riverside Press-Enterprise, 6/25).
Sutter Roseville Medical Center
Sutter Roseville Medical Center is seeking designation as a "heart attack center" under an experimental state program to be implemented in six hospitals, the Sacramento Bee reports.
The program will offer angioplasties and stenting procedures without on-site cardiac surgery services.
The Department of Health Care Services will select the six hospitals for the pilot program later this year (Lang, Sacramento Bee, 7/6).
Sutter Solano Medical Center, Vallejo
On June 30, Russell Neilson, a spokesperson with the Sutter Solano Medical Center in Vallejo, announced that 34 full- or part-time positions would be eliminated as of Aug. 1, the Vallejo Times Herald reports.
The affected positions include 11 registered nurses, three licensed vocational nurses and five certified nursing assistants.Â
In addition, six vacant nursing positions will not be filled and about 15 non-nursing support positions -- such as dietary aids, lab workers and radiology staff -- will be eliminated, Neilson said (Raskin-Zrihen, Vallejo Times Herald, 7/1).
Valley Health System, Riverside
On June 29, an attorney representing the interests of Valley Health System's bondholders said that he will move to have the hospital district's 2007 bankruptcy case dismissed, thus allowing it to sell assets to satisfy debts, the Press-Enterprise reports.
Valley Health System, which owns Hemet Valley Medical Center and Menifee Valley Medical Center, has an outstanding debt of about $64 million and continues to lose money despite the bankruptcy protection.
William Smith -- the attorney representing U.S. Bank, the bondholders' trustee -- said that it is too late for Valley Health System to attempt to become profitable and reorganize under Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection.
Gary Klausner, the attorney for Valley Health System, said the district's board of directors is moving forward with a sales plan (Hines, Riverside Press-Enterprise, 6/30).
VA Palo Alto Health Care System
On July 1, construction began on the VA Palo Alto Health Care System's $26 million mental health facility, the San Jose Mercury News reports.
While the 80-bed facility will not increase capacity overall, it will bring together services from four facilities at the Palo Alto and Menlo Park campuses.Construction on the project, which is part of $1.4 billion worth of renovations to the system, is expected to be completed in the summer of 2011 (Oremus, San Jose Mercury News, 7/1). 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.