California Hospital News Roundup for the Week of June 24, 2011
Children's Hospital Los Angeles
On Thursday, Children's Hospital Los Angeles President and CEO Richard Cordova joined city officials, patients and others for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially open the hospital's $636 million Marion and John E. Anderson Pavilion, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.
The seven-story, 460,000 square-foot hospital building will provide 317Â additional pediatric care beds, including 120 beds dedicated to intensive care. The hospital plans to move about 200 patients into the building by July 17 (Los Angeles Daily News, 6/23).
Doctors Medical Center, San Pablo
On Wednesday, officials at Doctor's Medical Center in San Pablo heard the results of a telephone survey gauging support for a parcel tax to help keep the struggling hospital afloat, the Contra Costa Times reports. The hospital lost $2.8 million in May, despite receiving a $10 million advance from Contra Costa County.
About half of the survey respondents were asked if they would support a $47 annual parcel tax to raise funds for the hospital, and 64% said yes. The remaining half were asked if they would support a $97 annual parcel tax, and 54% said they would. Hospital officials said they were encouraged by the survey results but have not decided whether to pursue a ballot measure for a parcel tax (Kleffman, Contra Costa Times, 6/22).
Dominican Hospital, Santa Cruz
The American College of Surgeons' Commission on Cancer has granted a three-year accreditation to Dominican Hospital's cancer program, the Santa Cruz Sentinel reports.
Dominican's program is one of 1,400 in the U.S. to receive the cancer accreditation from the commission, which sets standards for cancer care quality, clinical services and research (Santa Cruz Sentinel, 6/21).
Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital
On Tuesday, hundreds of employees from Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital walked off the job in a one-day strike, the Salinas Californian reports.
Workers held the strike to protest stalled labor talks between the hospital and SVMH's largest union, the National Union of Healthcare Workers (MacDonald, Salinas Californian, 6/22). NUHW claims that SVMH has failed to negotiate fairly on wages, benefits and its plans to lay off workers (Mitchell, Salinas Californian, 6/23).
During the strike, SVMH brought in 110 temporary workers through a firm that provides replacements for striking employees. The replacement workers are required to work a minimum of three days, meaning that striking employees could not return to work until Friday, SVMH said (Salinas Californian, 6/22).
NUHW criticized the hospital's action, calling it a "lockout." In addition, the California Public Employment Relations Board issued a complaint against SVMH for refusing to allow employees to return to work after Tuesday's strike (Salinas Californian, 6/23).
Scripps Cardiovascular Institute, San Diego
San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders (R), hospital executives and physicians celebrated the start of construction on the Scripps Cardiovascular Institute, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
The $456 million facility will combine the cardiology programs at Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla, Scripps Clinic/Scripps Green Hospital and Kaiser Permanente. The seven-story building -- which is slated for completion in 2015 -- will feature 108 private patient rooms, 60 intensive care rooms and six catheterization labs (Ignelzi, San Diego Union-Tribune, 6/21).
Shriners Hospital for Children, Sacramento
On Tuesday, the 80-bed Shriners Hospital for Children in Sacramento will start billing heath insurers for its services, according to hospital spokesperson Catherine Curran, the Sacramento Bee reports.
The change in policy is being phased in at Shriners hospitals across the country. According to Curran, all 22 Shriners hospitals will have adopted the new protocols by this fall. She said the change will not impose new costs on families because Shriners will cover all copayments and deductibles. For patients who are uninsured or underinsured, Shriners will cover the full cost of care, Curran said (Kasler, Sacramento Bee, 6/24).
Stanford Hospital & Clinics and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital, Palo Alto
On Monday, Stanford University suspended its hospital expansion project after parents expressed concern that construction would occur close to a children's day care facility, the San Jose Mercury News reports.
Earlier this month, the Palo Alto City Council approved most of the project to expand Stanford Hospital & Clinics and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital. However, Arboretum Children's Center officials informed parents last week that workers will demolish one of the day care's classrooms to provide access to a construction site only 38 feet from the facility.
The parents -- who say the 18-month construction project will expose children to air pollution and loud noise -- have asked the city to require Stanford to relocate the day care center during construction. Stanford has agreed to consider the issue at a later council meeting (Samuels, San Jose Mercury News, 6/20).
Sutter Medical Center of Santa Rosa
A Sonoma County judge has ruled that Sutter Health can continue construction on its $284 million, 82-bed hospital in Santa Rosa, the North Bay Business Journal reports. The new hospital, which will replace the existing Sutter Medical Center of Santa Rosa, is expected to open in late 2014.
The ruling stemmed from a challenge brought by the North Sonoma County Healthcare District, the Palm Drive Healthcare District, the California Nurses Association and other groups. The opponents challenged the county's approval of the environmental impact report for Sutter's new hospital, saying the project was not in line with California environmental law.
However, Superior Court Judge RenÃ© Chouteau dismissed most of the charges, ruling that the two health care districts did not have legal standing to challenge the approval of the environmental report (Verel, North Bay Business Journal, 6/20).
Temecula Valley Hospital
On Monday, local officials and city residents broke ground on Temecula Valley Hospital, the city's first hospital, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reports.
Universal Health Services is developing the new five-story, 140-bed facility, which will feature private rooms, six surgical suites and a 20-bed intensive care unit. UHS president Marc Miller said the planned facility -- which is scheduled to open in 2013 -- is "just a start" and could expand as needed (Horseman, Riverside Press-Enterprise, 6/21).
Watsonville Community Hospital
Officials at Watsonville Community Hospital are waitingÂ for permits from the city and the state Department of Public Health before they can open the hospital's new Acclaim Urgent Care clinic, the Santa Cruz Sentinel reports.
Matko Varanjes, the hospital's interim director of facilities, said the 3,600 square-foot clinic has been in the works for two years. The clinic will provide physical examinations, employee health services, occupational medicine and other services (Gumz, Santa Cruz Sentinel, 6/21).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.