California Hospital News Roundup for the Week of July 15, 2011
California Pacific Medical Center, San Francisco
San Francisco officials are weighing whether to accept California Pacific Medical Center's recent offer to provide $1.1 billion in community benefits over 10 years and establish health clinics for low-income patients, the San Francisco Examiner reports. CPMC offered the community benefits as part of an effort to secure the city's approval for the construction of a new 555-bed facility on Cathedral Hill.
San Francisco Supervisor David Campos expressed concern about the latest offer, saying CPMC is pledging to contribute nearly the same level of community benefits it already provides. CPMC spokesperson Kevin McCormack said the hospital's offer is fair, adding that CPMC has "gone to a higher level than in the past" with respect to charity care (Schreiber, San Francisco Examiner, 7/11).
Good Samaritan Hospital, Bakersfield
Kern County Supervisors are considering whether to re-authorize Good Samaritan Hospital to house adult mental health patients against their will, the Bakersfield Californian reports.
In May, supervisors agreed to prohibit Good Samaritan from housing involuntary patients because doing so was creating significant legal costs for the county. However, last week, supervisors Zack Scrivner and Karen Goh called for the county to reconsider the change and take steps to address problems at the mental health hospital.
Also last week, Supervisor Mike Maggard expressed concern about reauthorizing Good Samaritan to house involuntary patients, citing a range of recent patient safety issues. Ganesh Acharya, chief administrative officer at Good Samaritan, said the hospital has addressed safety concerns by making changes to its management team and hiring psychiatrists from Kern Medical Center (Burger, Bakersfield Californian, 7/10).
Kaiser Permanente San Leandro Medical Center
Last week, construction workers set the final steel beam in place for Kaiser Permanente San Leandro Medical Center, which is expected to open in late 2014, the Oakland Tribune reports.
The new 425,000 square-foot building will replace the 40-year-old Kaiser Permanente Hayward Medical Center, which does not meet state seismic safety regulations. The San Leandro hospital will include 264 acute care beds, 10 operating rooms, 40 emergency department treatment rooms, a neonatal intensive care unit and 116 offices for primary care physicians and specialists (Metinko, Oakland Tribune, 7/9).
Mt. Diablo Health Care District
The Contra Costa Local Agency Formation Commission has postponed a decision about the possible elimination of Mt. Diablo Health Care District until Gov. Jerry Brown (D) decides whether to sign a bill (AB 912) that would allow certain special districts to be dissolved without voter approval, the Contra Costa Times reports.
The district formed in 1948 to manage construction for the former Mt. Diablo Medical Center in Concord. The hospital later merged with the John Muir Health system and the district relinquished much of its power. Critics say the district no longer serves a purpose, while supporters say it organizes initiatives that benefit the community. If Brown rejects AB 912, the commission would need to seek voter approval before the district could be eliminated (Kleffman, Contra Costa Times, 7/13).
Stanford Hospital & Clinics and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital, Palo Alto
After receiving final approval from the Palo Alto City Council, Stanford University is preparing to begin construction on a $5 billion expansion project for Stanford Hospital & Clinics and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital, the San Jose Mercury News reports.
On Monday, the city council voted 7-0 to approve the project following a three-week delay over concerns about how the construction would affect a nearby children's day care facility. The university plans to build a parking garage next to the facility, which provides care for about 140 children of Stanford employees and students. The university has agreed to temporarily relocate the day care during construction (Samuels, San Jose Mercury News, 7/12).
St. Jude Medical Center, Fullerton
St. Jude Medical Center has installed 14 cameras in its neonatal intensive care unit to help parents connect with their infants when they are away from the hospital, the Orange County Register reports.
The $30,000 system is password protected and allows parents to view streaming video of the infants over computers and smartphones. The cameras, which are connected to IV poles above each infant's incubator, are powered off for three hours per day when medical staff conduct rounds (Perkes, Orange County Register, 7/8).
Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento
The $724 million expansion of Sacramento's Sutter Medical Center is progressing steadily, despite several early challenges and a 60% increase in the project's initial expected cost, the Sacramento Bee reports.
Sutter Health's construction effort faced a few early obstacles, including a lawsuit that the Service Employees International Union filed challenging the city's approval of the project. The lawsuit delayed construction efforts and contributed to the project's cost increase.
Sutter's expansion involves renovations and new services at Sutter General Hospital in Sacramento, construction of the Anderson Lucchetti Women's and Children's Center and several other projects. The renovated general hospital will include updated patient rooms, an expanded emergency department and a pediatric ED. The 242-bed women's and children's center -- which will replace Sutter Memorial Hospital -- is expected to open in 2013 (Ferris Heenan, Sacramento Bee, 7/10).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.