California Hospital News Roundup for the Week of June 27, 2008
Loma Linda University Medical Center has launched a 24-hour Women's Health Care telephone line to help answer medical questions, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reports.
Beverly Rigsby, director of the GYN Women's Services at the medical center, said the hotline coordinates all of the center's women's health services (Han, Riverside Press-Enterprise, 6/24).
Richard Wheat, former chief financial officer of Mee Memorial Hospital, pleaded guilty to federal wire fraud charges for embezzling funds from the hospital, the Monterey County Herald reports.
U.S. Attorney Joseph Russoniello in San Francisco announced the plea on Tuesday.
Wheat is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 29. He faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine, in addition to restitution (Parsons, Monterey County Herald, 6/25).
Last week, officials from Valley Health System agreed to sell Moreno Valley Community Hospital to Kaiser Permanente, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reports.
Kaiser agreed to pay $53 million for the 101-bed facility and adjacent land for expansion.
Richard Rajaratnam, medical director for Kaiser's medical group in Riverside County, said it will invest nearly $12 million into the facility's painting, carpeting and repairs (Wesson, Riverside Press-Enterprise, 6/20).
San Mateo County supervisors agreed to reconsider a plan to outsource San Mateo Medical Center's transportation program and eliminate eight county jobs, the San Mateo County Times reports.
The supervisors agreed to more closely analyze the cost savings that job cuts and hiring a contractor could entail.
In total, the medical center's 2008-2009 budget includes 19 job cuts (Bishop, San Mateo County Times, 6/24).
On Tuesday, the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors unanimously agreed to place a bond measure on the November ballot seeking voter approval for $840 million to upgrade Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal reports.
The majority of the funds, $790 million, would be used to help bring the facility into compliance with state seismic safety regulations.
The remaining funds would be used to help replace health care facilities in the downtown San Jose area that were lost when San Jose Medical Center closed in 2004 (Sibley, Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal, 6/24).
Stanford University might have to build hundreds of new homes to help offset an increase in traffic as part of the approval for its plan to expand and redevelop two hospitals, the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal reports.
The university filed an application with Palo Alto officials last year to expand Lucile Packard Children's Hospital and expand and redevelop Stanford Hospital and Clinics.
City staff and consultants are working on an environmental impact report for the proposed projects (Simonson, Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal, 6/20).
On Thursday, the Tri-City Healthcare District approved a budget for fiscal year 2008-2009 that is projected to yield an $11.1 million surplus on more than $1 billion in gross patient revenue, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
Also at the board meeting on Thursday, employees of the Tri-City Hospital in Oceanside and community activists criticized the facility for sending nurses' aides home when there are few patients in wards, arguing that the practice compromises patient care.
Suellyn Ellerbe, chief operating officer and chief nursing executive at the hospital, said registered nurses can cover all patient care duties on low occupancy days without the help of nurses' aides (Sherman, San Diego Union-Tribune, 6/27).
On Sunday, the physicians, nurses, technicians and managers of UCLA Medical Center will move into their new facility, called the UCLA Ronald Reagan Medical Center, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Thirty ambulances, 80 gurneys and three teams of professionals will be used to transfer 350 patients to the new facility.
The new 520-room hospital has been under planning and construction for eight years (Groves, Los Angeles Times, 6/25).