California Hospital News Roundup for the Week of July 19, 2013
Dignity Health Medical Foundation-Bay Area
On July 9, Dignity Health Medical Foundation-Bay Area discovered that it had mistakenly sent about 6,000 patient bills to collections, according to officials, the Santa Cruz Sentinel reports.
The officials did not specify how the mistake occurred, but they said that the group has notified affected patients and the collection agency about the error and removed the accounts from the collections process (Gumz, Santa Cruz Sentinel, 7/15).
Kaiser Permanente, San Francisco
On July 11, Kaiser Permanente announced that it will shift the site of its proposed 190,000 square-foot medical office building from San Francisco's Potrero Hill district to Mission Bay, San Francisco Business Times' "Bay Area BizTalk" reports.
Community groups opposed Kaiser's original plan, prompting the organization to downsize the project from 700,000 square feet.
Kaiser spokesperson Joe Fragola said using the new location will allow the company "to open two years sooner at a big cost savings" (Rauber, "Bay Area BizTalk," San Francisco Business Times, 7/11).
San Leandro Hospital
Eden Township Healthcare District's pledge to raise up to $20 million in funding for San Leandro Hospital might be improper under state conflict-of-interest laws that prohibit public officials from taking action to benefit their own interests, according to experts, Contra Costa Times reports (McGlone, Contra Costa Times, 7/11).
In June, Eden Township Healthcare District's board of directors pledged to work with Alameda Health System and the Alameda County Health Department to raise the money (California Healthline, 6/21).
However, three members of the board are on San Leandro's medical staff or receive monetary compensation from the hospital's owner, Sutter Health. District officials argue that the board's actions and plans do not violate state law (Contra Costa Times, 7/11).
Ventura County Medical Center
On Monday, Ventura County Medical Center began construction on a $305 million hospital wing that will include three stories and 120 new beds, the Ventura County Star reports.
The facility also will include five expanded operating rooms, a new hospital entrance and units for intensive care and labor and delivery.
The project is expected to be completed by 2017.
It is funded by bonds that will be paid off over 30 years with county revenue (Kisken, Ventura County Star, 7/12).
Verdugo Hills Hospital, Glendale
The University of Southern California has purchased the 158-bed Verdugo Hills Hospital, the Los Angeles Times reports.
USC will invest $30 million into the hospital to expand its obstetrics department and renovate the emergency department.
The partnership will allow Verdugo patients to access USC's health care services, shift some USC faculty to Verdugo and allow USC and Verdugo to share an electronic health record system (Gorman, Los Angeles Times, 7/16).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.