California Hospital News Roundup for the Week of June 19, 2009
California Pacific Medical Center, San Francisco
The California Nurses Association labor union has accused Sutter Health of engaging in "medical redlining" as Sutter continues to seek approval for California Pacific Medical Center's proposed $1.7 billion facility on San Francisco's Cathedral Hill, the San Francisco Business Times reports.
CNA said Sutter is shifting resources from low-income areas to more affluent ones to attract "fewer but more affluent patients to upscale destinations." The San Francisco Business Times reports that CNA's accusations are likely to complicate Sutter's efforts to gain approval for the new facility.
Bill Gleeson, senior spokesperson for Sutter, denied the allegations and said that "a look at the list of communities where Sutter Health has a presence" indicates a diverse population of patients (Rauber, San Francisco Business Times, 6/12).
Dominican Hospital, Seacliff
Dominican Hospital will dedicate four acres of its Seacliff property for senior housing, the Santa Cruz Sentinel reports.
The property marks the last of six sites the county needed to rezone to meet the state affordable housing mandate.
The county board of supervisors is scheduled to vote on the plan Tuesday (Alexander, Santa Cruz Sentinel, 6/11).
Hemet Valley Medical Center, Hemet
On June 4, Hemet Valley Medical Center closed a recently renovated eight-bed observation unit after the California Department of Public Health said the facility had not been inspected prior to its opening, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reports.
Health department spokesperson Ralph Montano said the unit is to remain closed until an inspection has been completed.
Jerri Randrup, a district spokesperson, said hospital administrators are working with state regulators to resolve the matter (Hines, Riverside Press-Enterprise, 6/16).
Mission Hospital, Orange County
State officials have approved Mission Hospital's bid to buy South Coast Medical Center under the condition that Mission Hospital invest $5 million in capital improvements over the next three years, the Orange County Register reports.
The attorney general's office said the $35.7 million sale could be completed by July 1, so long as:
- Mission agrees to operate South Coast and its emergency department through 2012;
- Adventist Health, the owner of South Coast, transfers $1.8 million to the Irvine Health Foundation to establish a cancer fund for local patients; and
- The majority of remaining funds from South Coast are spent on hospital improvements (Perkes, Orange County Register, 6/12).
San Leandro Hospital
On Monday, Sutter Health announced that it will end its operation of San Leandro Hospital on Sept. 30, the Contra Costa Times reports.
Sutter also said it will sign over its purchase option for the 122-bed hospital, owned by the Eden Township Healthcare District, to Aladema County.
According to the Contra Costa Times, it is unclear how much Sutter will pay the district to take over operation of the hospital.
Alameda County supervisors may vote on a county plan to purchase and convert the hospital to a rehabilitation and urgent care facility (Holzmeister, Contra Costa Times, 6/15).
Shasta Regional Medical Center, Redding
On June 11, nurses at Shasta Regional Medical Center voted against keeping United Public Employees of California as their union, the Redding Record-Searchlight reports.
According to Shasta Regional spokesperson Karen Hoyt, of the 219 nurses eligible to vote, 75 voted to get rid of the union and 27 voted to keep it, with the remainder abstaining.Â
Chris Darker, spokesperson for UPEC's Local 792, said that the union will not contest the results (Sabalow, Redding Record-Searchlight, 6/12).
Stanford University Medical Center, Palo Alto
Stanford University Medical Center announced this week that it is offering Palo Alto $124 million in housing, traffic reduction and other community benefits to compensate for the estimated impact of its 1.3 million-square-foot, $3.5 billion proposed hospital expansion, the San Jose Mercury News reports.
The new proposal from Stanford emphasizes community benefits the facility believes are most connected with its services, including a $23.1 million contribution to the city's housing fund and Caltrain Go passes for commuting employees.
According to the Mercury News, city officials have been pressuring Stanford for several months to offer housing and other amenities.
City officials said further negotiations would continue into the summer (Samuels, San Jose Mercury News, 6/16).
St. Joseph Medical Center, Stockton
St. Joseph Medical Center will terminate its Medi-Cal contract for elective inpatient treatment, effective Aug. 1, the Stockton Record reports.
Medi-Cal is California's Medicaid program.
According to the hospital, the action will not affect most Medi-Cal beneficiaries whose benefits are administered through managed care programs, nor will the facility turn away patients seeking emergency services.Hospital officials say that their top reason for terminating the contract was to direct more Medi-Cal patients to the financially strapped San Joaquin General Hospital (Goldeen, Stockton Record, 6/13). 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.