California Hospital News Roundup for the Week of July 16, 2010
Hoag Hospital Irvine
Officials at Hoag Hospital Irvine have announced that the facility is expected to open in September after undergoing nearly $84 million in improvements, the Orange County Register reports.
The 244,000 square-foot facility -- formerly known as the Irvine Regional Hospital and Medical Center -- will feature new systems that streamline physician and nurse workflow and allow visitors to track the progress of a patient (Pak, Orange County Register, 7/8).
Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, San Leandro
On July 12, Kaiser Permanente officials broke ground for the new 436,000 square-foot Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, the Oakland Tribune reports. The hospital will replace Kaiser Permanente Hayward hospital, which currently does not meet seismic safety standards.
The new, six-story, 264-bed hospital will feature 10 operating rooms, 24-hour emergency services, a neonatal intensive care unit and outpatient services. The facility is expected to open in approximately three years (Sweeney, Oakland Tribune, 7/12).
Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center
Out of the three county-run hospitals with emergency departments, Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center is the only facility too small to meet patient demand, according to an independent draft report given to the county board of supervisors, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The report said that at least 97 new beds are needed to accommodate patient demand at the hospital (Lin, Los Angeles Times, 7/14).
On Tuesday, supervisors directed staff to create a contingency plan to relieve ED overcrowding and asked the county CEO to consider adding 150 beds to the facility ("KPCC News," KPCC, 7/13).
Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center, Thousand Oaks
On Wednesday, the Thousand Oaks City Council voted 3-0 to approve an expansion plan for Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center, the Ventura County Star reports.
The $245 million project includes a new four-story wing, an addition of a fourth floor to an existing building and a new parking structure. Once completed, the hospital will be in compliance with state seismic safety standards, which must be met by 2013 (Rochester, Ventura County Star, 7/14).
Marin General Hospital, Greenbrae
Marin General Hospital and the Marin IPA medical group have collaborated to form Prima Medical Foundation, which was launched on July 1, the San Francisco Business Times reports.
The hospital considers the not-for-profit foundation, which currently represents 48 physicians, critical to operating independently of Sutter Health, its former operator (Rauber, San Francisco Business Times, 7/13).
Martin Luther King Jr. Medical Center, Los Angeles
On Tuesday, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted to allow County CEO William Fujioka to form a private not-for-profit organization to manage the new Martin Luther King Jr. Medical Center with the University of California, the AP/Ventura County Star reports.
Under the deal, which the UC Board of Regents is expected to review, the university will provide a chief medical officer, physicians and quality control, while the county will fund the facility's day-to-day operations and assume financial liability (AP/Ventura County Star, 7/13).
The private, not-for-profit venture will have a seven-member board with two members selected by the regents, two selected by the county and three selected by consensus between the county and regents ("KPCC News," KPCC, 7/13).
Mercy Medical Center, Merced
An above-average number of patients have sought care in Mercy Medical Center's emergency department since it opened in May, suggesting that patients could be using the ED for inappropriate reasons, the Merced Sun-Star reports.
The hospital's ED saw more than 200 patients daily in the first two weeks of May. While the numbers have fallen to approximately 150 patients daily, the average is still higher than the old ED's average of 104 patients daily. Residents could be seeking care in the ED because it is close to a large percentage of the area's population, according to the Sun-Star.
Officials say they are working to educate the public about hours for its urgent care clinics -- especially at night and on weekends -- to help relieve ED overcrowding (Reiter, Merced Sun-Star, 7/13).
Palmdale Regional Medical Center
Officials say Palmdale Regional Medical Center is likely to open by the end of 2010 after nearly two years of delays,Â Payers & Providers reports.
The hospital is expected to have 127 beds at opening and eventually expandÂ to 239 beds. A spokesperson for the Department of Health Care Services said most of the issues hampering the hospital's construction have been resolved (Payers & Providers, 7/15).
Palo Alto Medical Foundation, Santa Cruz
Next spring, the Palo Alto Medical Foundation expects to open a new $9 million, 20,000 square-foot medical office building to house some of the group's specialists, the Santa Cruz Sentinel reports.
The building will be located across from Sutter Maternity & Surgery Center in Santa Cruz. The county granted the group permission to construct the building in 2008. The facility will allow the foundation's orthopedic and podiatric surgery offices to be consolidated (Gumz, Santa Cruz Sentinel, 7/10).
Last week, Contra Costa County and San Pablo city officials unveiled plans for a new 53,000 square-foot medical center to replace Richmond Health Center, the Contra Costa Times reports.
The West county facility could cost up to $50 million to build. About $12 million in federal economic stimulus funding will be used to support its construction. Groundbreaking on the project could begin as early as next year, with completion slated for spring 2012 (Lochner, Contra Costa Times, 7/11).
Sierra Kings District Hospital, Reedley
Adventist Health Central Valley Network -- a not-for-profit, faith-based health system -- presented a plan to lease Sierra Kings District Hospital's property and buildings and to take over the facility's license, the Fresno Bee reports.
Adventist has yet to present a formal offer to take over the hospital, which has filed for bankruptcy, and any takeover deal would require voter approval.
Sierra Kings officials said they are open to the idea of an Adventist partnership and other possible offers (Anderson, Fresno Bee, 7/13).
Stanford University Medical Center, Palo Alto
Next week, the Palo Alto City Council is expected to hold a hearing to discuss a draft environmental report on Stanford University Medical Center's expansion plans, the San Jose Mercury News reports. The review will focus on issues related to noise, geology, seismicity, hazardous materials and utilities.
The $3.5 billion, 12-year project would add 1.3 million square feet to Stanford Hospitals & Clinics and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital. According to city staff who have reviewed the report, significant noise levels associated with construction could affect patients and staff in the area (Dungan, San Jose Mercury News, 7/14).
On Tuesday, the Ventura County Board of Supervisors voted to authorize a lease for a new medical complex in Thousand Oaks, which will allow the county to consolidate its health services into one building while expanding its offerings, the Ventura County Star reports (Wilson, Ventura County Star, 7/13).
The medical complex -- which will triple the amount of space dedicated to county medical clinics -- will house an urgent care center and offer mental health services and a nutrition program for low-income women and children. If approved, the complex is expected to open late next year (Wilson, Ventura County Star, 7/12).
UC-Davis Medical Center, Sacramento
On July 10, the UC-Davis Medical Center held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for its new Surgery and Emergency Services Pavilion, the Sacramento Bee reports.
In addition to emergency care and surgery, the new pavilion will offer pathology, laboratory medicine, and food and nutrition services. The $425 million project began eight years ago. Staff and equipment are expected to relocate to the new pavilion by October (Calvan, Sacramento Bee, 7/10).
Ventura County Medical Center
On Monday, Ventura County Medical Center celebrated its recent designation as the west county trauma center, the Ventura County Star reports.
Ending a two-year designation process, county supervisors on June 22 voted 4-1 to make VCMC the west county's trauma center after the American College of Surgeons recommended the facility for designation (Gregory, Ventura County Star, 7/12).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.