California Hospital News Roundup for the Week of July 8, 2011
California Pacific Medical Center, San Francisco
California Pacific Medical Center has offered to pay $1.1 billion in community benefits for low-income and uninsured San Francisco residents over the next decade as part of its efforts to secure the city's approval for a proposed medical complex in Cathedral Hill and a rebuild of St. Luke's Hospital, the San Francisco Business Times reports.
CPMC's offer comes after San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee (D) asked the health system to provide nearly $2 billion in community benefits to obtain approval for its construction projects. A CPMC spokesperson said the San Francisco Planning Commission is scheduled to hold a meeting on the hospital projects on Aug. 11 (Rauber, San Francisco Business Times, 7/5).
March LifeCare, Riverside County
On Wednesday, the planning arm of the March Joint Powers Commission unanimously recommended that the full commission approve March Healthcare Development's plans to lay the groundwork for a new March LifeCare medical campus on the site of the former March Air Force Base, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reports.
The full commission will meet on July 20. If the commission approves March Healthcare Development's master plot plan and its specific plan amendment, officials hope to start building water and sewer line infrastructure before the end of 2011. Mark Ostoich, legal counsel for March Healthcare Development, said the first buildings of the medical campus are expected to be constructed sometime next year (Pierceall, Riverside Press-Enterprise, 7/6).
Palo Alto Medical Foundation Santa Cruz
Palo Alto Medical Foundation Santa Cruz recently hosted an open house for a new $8 million medical office building that took four years to complete, the Santa Cruz Sentinel reports.
The 20,000 square-foot facility has space for podiatrists and orthopedists on the first floor and obstetricians and gynecologists on the second floor. The building uses a "pod" design, which groups a physician's office with exam rooms, an X-ray room and stations for nurses and medical staff (Gumz, Santa Cruz Sentinel, 7/5).
Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital
A group of labor and community leaders led by the National Union of Healthcare Workers is urging state officials to investigate whether the board of Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital is considering the sale or privatization of the public district hospital, the Monterey County Herald reports.
Earlier this year, the hospital's legal counsel hired management consulting firm McKinsey to develop a strategic plan for the hospital. The firm recommended that SVMH consider affiliating or merging with a larger hospital or health care system. NUHW officials say the hospital board acted inappropriately by not publicly releasing the McKinsey report.
Hospital officials say they have not specifically discussed selling or privatizing the hospital. They also contend that they are within their rights to have confidential discussions on the hospital's future (Johnson, Monterey County Herald, 7/6).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.