California Hospital News Roundup for the Week of July 13, 2012
Biggs-Gridley Memorial Hospital
Later this month, Biggs-Gridley Memorial Hospital will hold an open house at its Medical Specialty Center to unveil the hospital's new cardiovascular laboratory, the Gridley Herald reports.
The new lab will offer echocardiography, vascular diagnostic tests and other cardiology services. The facility also is acquiring equipment to screen for peripheral arterial disease and venous insufficiency (Van De Hey, Gridley Herald, 7/11).
California Pacific Medical Center, San Francisco
San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee (D) recently said that he will not agree to a construction deal with California Pacific Medical Center unless its affiliate, Sutter Health, agrees to keep St. Luke's Hospital in the Mission District open for 20 years, the San Francisco Chronicle reports (Matier/Ross, San Francisco Chronicle, 7/9).
The city is negotiating a $2.5 billion construction agreement with CPMC that includes building a new 555-bed facility on Cathedral Hill. However, city officials questioned the trustworthiness of CPMC officials after the hospital's internal financial documents were made public last week.
The internal documents show that hospital officials considered cutting hundreds of jobs, paying significantly less in charity care than the amount included in the construction agreement and closing St. Luke's Hospital in the Mission District after four years, despite a pledge to operate it for 20 years.
A hospital spokesperson said the documents were "drafts that were discarded and not used" (California Healthline, 7/6).
On Monday, Warren Browner, CEO of CPMC, said that he sees no reason to renegotiate the construction agreement (Rauber, "Bay Area Biz Talk," San Francisco Business Times, 7/9).
Chinese Hospital, San Francisco
On Thursday, the San Francisco Planning Commission unanimously approved the environmental impact report for a $160 million project to rebuild Chinese Hospital, the San Francisco Chronicle's "City Insider" reports.
The approval comes despite concerns from preservationists about the planned demolition of the 1924 hospital building.
The new construction -- expected to be complete in 2016 -- would include a 54-bed hospital and a 22-bed nursing facility that would meet state seismic safety requirements (Wildermuth, "City Insider," San Francisco Chronicle, 6/12).
Eastern Plumas Health Care, Portola; Plumas District Hospital, Quincy; Seneca Healthcare District, Chester
A recent report commissioned by the Sierra Institute for Community and Environment identified more than 30 areas for potential collaboration among three Plumas County hospitals, the Plumas County News reports.
According to the report, Plumas District Hospital, Eastern Plumas Health Care and Seneca Healthcare District could pool certain resources to better serve patients. Officials at the three hospitals plan to meet later this month to discuss possible plans for collaboration (Moore, Plumas County News, 7/12).
Loma Linda University Children's Hospital
Loma Linda University Children's Hospital has acquired a new helicopter that is 40% larger than most medical transport helicopters, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reports.
The hospital's new EC-145 has twin engines, an autopilot system and enhanced communication features. It can carry a three-person medical team, a patient and a family member of the patient (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 7/5).
San Gorgonio Memorial Hospital, Banning
The San Gorgonio Memorial Health Care District has agreed to pay an additional $738,000 to its contractor, ProWest, to oversee two construction projects at San Gorgonio Memorial Hospital for several more months, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reports.
A kitchen remodel project has been extended by four-and-a-half months, and a new building project that will house the hospital's intensive care unit and emergency department has been extended by five-and-a-half months.
ProWest said the construction delays were caused by weather issues and issues related to the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (Waldner, Riverside Press-Enterprise, 7/12).
Victor Valley Community Hospital, Victorville
A bankruptcy judge recently approved the sale of Victor Valley Community Hospital to investment firm KPC Group for a reported $33.8 million, dealing a setback to Prime Healthcare Services' attempts to buy the hospital, California Watch reports.
Prime began efforts to buy Victor Valley after it filed for bankruptcy in 2010. However, state Attorney General Kamala Harris (D) refused to approve the transaction on the basis that the sale could adversely affect health care in the region. Critics said Prime likely would cancel contracts with health insurers and charge higher prices for health care services if it acquired the hospital.
Prime spokesperson Edward Barrera said the organization's goal always has been to keep Victor Valley open (Williams, California Watch, 7/6).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.