California Hospital News Roundup for the Week of July 10, 2015
Casa Colina Hospital and Centers for Healthcare, Pomona
Casa Colina Hospital and Centers for Healthcare has filed a lawsuit against HHS seeking to resolve Medicare appeals within the federally required timeframe, according to a hospital release.
The suit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, asks the court to order HHS to resolve the hospital's pending appeals, some of which have been pending for up to two years (Casa Colina release, 7/7).
Dignity Health has partnered with Western University of Health Sciences to launch a new medical residency program in an effort to address physician shortages, the Bakersfield Californian reports.
The program is scheduled to begin next year and initially will include three family medicine and five internal medicine residents. The health system plans to add pediatrics and obstetrics/gynecology residencies in 2017 (Edelhart, Bakersfield Californian, 7/3).
Dominican Hospital, Santa Cruz
Dignity Health's Dominican Hospital has performed four successful transcatheter aortic valve replacements since becoming the first hospital on the Central Coast to be approved to conduct the procedure, the Santa Cruz Sentinel reports.
The procedure is a fairly new alternative to open heart surgery and is approved only for high-risk patients who otherwise would be poor candidates for the traditional operation (Pittman, Santa Cruz Sentinel, 6/30).
Glendale Adventist Medical Center
A homeless patient with mental health issues who was hospitalized following a suicide attempt has filed a lawsuit against the Glendale Adventist Medical Center over alleged patient dumping, the Glendale News-Press reports.
The plaintiff in the case is seeking unspecified damages for alleged neglect of a dependent adult, infliction of emotional distress and wrongful imprisonment (Mikailian, Glendale News-Press, 7/1).
Kaiser Permanente has announced that it plans to build a new medical center in Sacramento, the Sacramento Business Journal reports (van der Meer, Sacramento Business Journal, 6/25).
According to a city notice of a new environmental impact report, the new medical center could serve as a flagship for Kaiser and is expected offer both inpatient and outpatient services (van der Meer, Sacramento Business Journal, 6/26).
Kaiser also has started construction of a new medical center in Manhattan Beach, the Torrance Daily Breeze reports. The new facility will offer adult and pediatric primary care, obstetrics and gynecology services, and other services. It also will include new digital features, such as video consultations with doctors (Moreno, Torrance Daily Breeze, 7/2).
Meanwhile, Kaiser has signed a $9.3 million land deal where it plans to construct a new medical complex in Murrieta, the AP/San Jose Mercury News reports.
The deal includes a hospital, treatment and diagnostic center, medical office building and central energy plant (AP/San Jose Mercury News, 7/8).
Loma Linda University Medical Center, San Gorgonio Memorial Hospital
Adventist Health is in the process of negotiating a long-term contract between its Loma Linda University Medical Center and San Gorgonio Memorial Hospital in Banning, the San Bernardino Sun reports.
Under the deal, Adventist Health would manage and operate San Gorgonio, while the hospital's real-estate assets would remain under the San Gorgonio Memorial Hospital District (Steinberg, San Bernardino Sun, 7/3).
Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital
On Tuesday, the new 131-bed Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital reopened, the AP/Washington Times reports (AP/Washington Times, 7/7). The original hospital closed in 2007 after reports of inadequate care, and its reopening later was stalled by money- and bureaucratic-related setbacks (California Healthline, 4/3).
The new facility is surrounded by an expanded outpatient clinic, a new urgent-care psychiatric center and a new public health clinic (AP/Washington Times, 7/7).
Mercy General Hospital
Mercy General Hospital has announced a new $11.6 million oncology unit, the Sacramento Business Journal reports.
The facility will include 24 beds, all in private rooms. Patients will be transferred to the new center starting July 16 (Robertson, Sacramento Business Journal, 7/6).
San Francisco General Hospital
The opening of San Francisco General Hospital's new facility has been delayed to further test new technologies and train staff on how to use them, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
The new hospital, which was scheduled to open in December, likely will not open to patients until May 2016, but it still is slated for a ribbon-cutting ceremony when construction finishes on Dec. 5. The extra time also will allow state officials to complete patient safety inspections and licensing for the facility (Colliver, San Francisco Chronicle, 7/8).
Sutter Health's Anderson Luchetti Women's and Children's Center, Sacramento
Hospital staff at Sutter Health's new Anderson Luchetti Women's and Children's Center are undergoing training to handle air ambulance transports as they prepare to transfer patients to the new center's neonatal intensive care unit next month, the Sacramento Business Journal reports.
Transports will start on Aug. 8 (Robertson, Sacramento Business Journal, 6/29).
Sutter Memorial Medical Center, Modesto
A county superior court judge has overruled Sutter Memorial Medical Center's decision to fire one of its physicians for whistleblowing about the hospital's nursing practices, the Sacramento Business Journal reports.
The decision follows a February 2014 California Supreme Court ruling that upheld physician Mark Fahlen's right to file a whistleblower lawsuit against the hospital before exhausting other remedies. In the recent superior court ruling, the court ruled that Sutter should have upheld a peer-review committee's previous decision that was in Fahlen's favor (Robertson, Sacramento Business Journal, 7/8).
UCLA Ronald Reagan Medical Center
A patient at the UCLA Ronald Reagan Medical Center has become the first in California to receive a total artificial heart designed for smaller patients, according to a hospital release.
Meanwhile, UCLA plans to enroll patients in an FDA-approved clinical study on the experimental device (UCLA release, 7/2).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.