California Hospital News Roundup for the Week of July 22, 2011
Adventist Health, Roseville
This week, Adventist Health announced that it has merged its five North Coast hospitals into a regional network, the Santa Rosa Press Democrat reports. The new network -- which aims to foster collaboration -- will coordinate a business model among Frank R. Howard Memorial Hospital, St. Helena Hospital Center for Behavioral Health, St. Helena Hospital Clear Lake, St. Helena Hospital Napa Valley and Ukiah Valley Medical Center (Kovner, Santa Rosa Press Democrat, 7/19).
Adventist executive Terry Newmyer has been selected to be the new network's president and CEO (Central Valley Business Times, 7/19).Â
Children's Hospital Los Angeles
Nearly 200 pediatric patients ranging from infants to teenagers recently moved from their unit at Children's Hospital Los Angeles to the hospital's new $636 million pavilion, the Los Angeles Times reports.
More than 600 hospital employees underwent months of intensive preparation to move the patients to the new seven-story, 317-bed Marion & John E. Anderson Pavilion. The older hospital building has 286 beds. The new pavilion also includes a 26-bed emergency department and a larger trauma unit (Rivera, Los Angeles Times, 7/18).
Doctors Medical Center, San Pablo
On Thursday, the National Union of Healthcare Workers announced that its bargaining unit voted 125 to 9 to approve a new labor agreement with Doctors Medical Center in San Pablo, the San Francisco Business Times reports.
NUHW represents 350 workers at the hospital, including certified nursing assistants, licensed vocational nurses, radiology specialists and respiratory care workers. Although the new contract does not include higher wages or expanded benefits, NUHW said the agreement is a positive development because it includes no concessions at a time when the public hospital is under financial strain (Rauber, San Francisco Business Times, 7/21).
Kaiser Permanente Redwood City Medical Center
Next month, Kaiser Permanente plans to open a three-story, 64,000 square-foot medical office building in San Mateo, the San Francisco Business Times reports. The facility will be a satellite to Kaiser's Redwood City Medical Center.
Joe Fragola, spokesperson for Kaiser, said the new medical office building will include family medicine, imaging, internal medicine, sports medicine, and obstetrics and gynecology services. Although Kaiser did not provide information about the project's cost, Wanda Jones -- president of the New Century Healthcare Institute and a former hospital consultant -- estimated that the structure would cost about $30 million (Rauber, San Francisco Business Times, 7/19).
Mills-Peninsula Health Services, Burlingame and San Mateo
Contract negotiations have stalled between Sutter Health's Mills-Peninsula Health Services and about 700 nurses represented by the California Nurses Association, the San Francisco Examiner reports. The nurses' existing contract was signed in 2008 and is set to expire on July 30.
Liz Jacobs, spokesperson for CNA, said Sutter's management has proposed several changes that could negatively affect patient care, such as cutting nurses' benefits, allowing the hospital to replace registered nurses with lower-paid staff and eliminating several duties that nurses currently perform at the hospital.
Debbie Goodin -- regional vice president for human resources at Sutter -- said, "The management bargaining team would never craft a proposal that would compromise patient safety." Goodin added that salaries and benefits for nurses at Mills Peninsula are a major expense and are "out of sync with market rates" (Kyriakou, San Francisco Examiner, 7/13).
Sutter Urgent Care Antioch
Sutter Health recently opened the Sutter Urgent Care Antioch clinic to help residents of Eastern Contra Costa County obtain care for non-life-threatening illnesses on nights and weekends, the Contra Costa Times reports.
Elizabeth Mahler -- interim president of the East Bay Physicians Medical Group, the physician arm of the Sutter East Bay medical foundation -- said the clinic is staffed by emergency physicians rather than Sutter Health employees so community doctors can feel more comfortable referring patients to the clinic.
Tran Nguyen, spokesperson for Sutter Health-East Bay Region, said the new Antioch clinic will help relieve some of the overcrowding at Sutter Delta Medical Center's emergency department (Burgarino, Contra Costa Times, 7/15).
UCLA Health System
UCLA Health System has launched a new program that will focus on extremely delicate surgical reconstructions such as hand transplants, Payers & Providers reports.
The new UCLA Section of Reconstructive Transplantation will provide services to repair disfiguring injuries to patients' upper extremities, abdomen or face. Physicians will treat the injuries by using microsurgical procedures to repair extensive damage to nerves and arteries (Payers & Providers, 7/21).
Victor Valley Community Hospital, Victorville
A federal bankruptcy court has approved a deal allowing the Prime Healthcare Services Foundation to buy Victor Valley Community Hospital for $35 million, the Victor Valley Daily Press reports.
Earlier this month, the hospital accepted Prime's offer after KPC Global's $37 million bid to buy the facility fell through. Prime was the second-highest bidder in a November auction for the Victor Valley hospital. Lex Reddy, CEO of Prime's foundation, said the organization plans to upgrade the hospital and continue operating it as a not-for-profit facility (Shimura, Victor Valley Daily Press, 7/14).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.