California Hospital News Roundup for the Week of June 13, 2014
Children's Hospital Oakland
Resident physicians at Children's Hospital Oakland have joined with the Service Employees International Union's Committee of Interns and Residents to push for higher pay, arguing that their current salaries do not align with the Bay Area's high cost of living, KQED's "State of Health" reports.
According to "State of Health," residents currently are paid $52,000 annually and work as much as 80 hours each week. The residents are requesting a $2,000 bonus throughout their three-year residency to offset housing costs (Dembosky, "State of Health," KQED, 6/10).
Daughters of Charity Health System
Daughters of Charity Health System has received bids from several interested parties, the San Francisco Business Times' "Bay Area BizTalk" reports. For-profit groups have expressed interest in purchasing the whole system, while several not-for-profits have submitted bids to buy individual hospitals.
The health system includes:
- Saint Louise Regional Hospital in Gilroy;
- San Jose's O'Connor Hospital;
- Seton Medical Center in Seton, as well as its Seton Coastside satellite campus;
- St. Francis Medical Center in Los Angeles; and
- St. Vincent Medical Center in Los Angeles (Rauber, "Bay Area BizTalk," San Francisco Business Times, 6/9).
Doctors Medical Center, San Pablo
Doctors Medical Center officials have announced they will rescind their notice of closure to county health officials and instead pursue a plan to continue operating the hospital's 25-bed emergency department, the Contra Costa Times reports.
The new plan asks the county Board of supervisors on June 17 to approve a loan of $6 million against future property tax revenues to help sustain the hospital's ED for about four months while officials continue to try to raise private funding (Rogers, Contra Costa Times, 6/9). DMS began preparing for closure last month after local residents voted against a parcel tax that hospital administrators said was necessary to keep the hospital in operation (California Healthline, 5/16).
Kern Medical Center
County officials have unveiled a plan to merge Kern Medical Center with Kern Health Systems in an effort to save the struggling medical center, the Bakersfield Californian reports.
Under the proposal, the entities would become one integrated service, named the Kern County Health System Authority. According to the Californian, officials hope the merger will help provide better care for the nearly 140,000 low-income and disabled Medi-Cal beneficiaries in the area. Medi-Cal is California's Medicaid program. Details of the merger were presented to both the Kern County supervisors and the Kern Health System board earlier last week (Burger, Bakersfield Californian, 6/5).
Modesto Memorial Medical Center
Registered nurses at Sutter Health's Modesto Memorial Medical Center will vote on June 26 and June 27 on whether to be represented by the California Nurses Association/National Nurses United, the Sacramento Business Journal reports.
Employees at the medical center have not been unionized since it opened in 1970. During the campaign, nurses have cited issues such as inadequate staffing, requirements that nurses work in settings outside of their clinical expertise and lack of hospital administration respect (Robertson, Sacramento Business Journal, 6/11).
San Quentin Prison
California officials are moving quickly to open a 40-bed psychiatric hospital at San Quentin prison amid pressure to improve mental health care for death row inmates, the Los Angeles Times reports (St. John, Los Angeles Times, 6/10).
According to the AP/Sacramento Bee, the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation will convert facilities on the prison's Medical Service Building's fourth floor into what will be known as the San Quentin Psychiatric Inpatient Program. Neither state nor prison officials disclosed how much the project would cost but said the project would use funds from the department's current mental health budget (Thompson, AP/Sacramento Bee, 6/10).
UC-San Francisco Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland
The UC-San Francisco Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland has recently affiliated with the Children's Hospital and Research Center Oakland, the San Francisco Business Times reports.
According to the Times, the centers this summer plan to open a 5,000-square foot pediatric clinic that will offer services such as cardiology, endocrinology, orthopedics, surgery and other specialties in San Ramon's Bishop Ranch (San Francisco Business Times, 6/9).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.