California Hospital News Roundup for the Week of July 30, 2010
Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula
Officials at Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula are considering staff layoffs,Â cuts toÂ employee benefits and other cost reductions as part of plans to cut $21 million from the hospital's $440 million budget for this year, the Monterey County Herald reports.
Officials plan to proceed with certain hospital expansion projects -- including a new wellness center and clinic and an on-site gym for hospital employees -- according to a hospital spokesperson (Johnson, Monterey County Herald, 7/22).
El Camino Hospital, Mountain View
Last week, a compensation committee at El Camino Hospital voted to freeze executives' salaries for the 2010-2011 fiscal year, the San Jose Mercury News reports.
Last year, the executives received raises that averaged 4.7%. However, as of May, the hospital faced a $7.91 million deficit with employee wages that were $6.7 million over budget. The hospital board is slated to discuss the facility's end-of-year financial results next month (Samuels, San Jose Mercury News, 7/26).
March LifeCare, Riverside County
On July 27, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) participated in a demolition ceremony to mark the start of the March LifeCare project, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reports.
The planned 3.5 million square-foot facility is estimated to cost at least $80.1 million over a 10-year building period. The center is being built on the site of the former March Air Force Base (Miller, Riverside Press-Enterprise, 7/27).
Redlands Community Hospital
Former Redlands Community Hospital employees have won a class-action lawsuit alleging the hospital owed them millions in unpaid compensation and overtime, the San Bernardino County Sun reports.
The lawsuit claimed that the hospital lowered the base wages of people working 12-hour shifts after the passage of a 1999 state law requiring employers to pay overtime wages to people who worked more than 8 hours in one day. A Redlands Community official said hospital management discussed the 1999 law with employees and allowed workers to vote on whether to keep their 12-hour shifts.Â
The ruling requires the hospital to pay minimum damages of $55,000 in overtime wages and $38,000 in interest, which is less than the $18 million sought by the former employees (Gill, San Bernardino County Sun, 7/26).
Tri-City Healthcare District
After facing an $18 million loss during the past year, Tri-City Healthcare District is working to end its 25-year lease of a medical office building and large fitness center that opened a year and a half ago in Carlsbad, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
The public hospital district currently pays about $274,000 monthly to lease the 5.7-acre property. Earlier this month, officials signed an option to purchase the facility for $47 million, which would rise in steps over five years to $48.5 million (Lavelle, San Diego Union-Tribune, 7/25).
VA Central California Healthcare System, Fresno
On July 23, the VA Central California Healthcare System held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a new emergency department scheduled to become operational by Aug. 3, the Fresno Bee reports.
Central California Healthcare System Director Alan Perry said the $5 million ED renovation boosted the number of exam rooms from eight to 17 and added new state-of-the-art monitoring equipment and psychiatric evaluation rooms to the facility (Fresno Bee, 7/23).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.