California Hospital News Roundup for the Week of June 6, 2008
Children's Hospital Central California last week said it signed a new contract with Anthem Blue Cross, making it possible for about 25,000 children who receive Medi-Cal or Healthy Families benefits through Anthem Blue Cross to receive treatment at the hospital, the Fresno Bee reports.
The contract had stalled since Aug. 1 when the hospital failed to reach an agreement with Anthem Blue Cross over payments for children enrolled in Medi-Cal and Health Families, California's Medicaid program and California's version of the State Children's Health Insurance Plan, respectively.
The facility is the only children's hospital between Los Angeles and San Francisco (Correa, Fresno Bee, 5/29).
Prime Healthcare Services has purchased the lease of the 95-bed Encino-Tarzana Regional Medical Center from Tenet Healthcare, Modern Healthcare reports.
Tenet also is selling 71-bed Garden Grove Hospital and Medical Center and 64-bed San Dimas Community Hospital to Prime Healthcare Services.
The deal is expected to be completed in 30 days and is subject to regulatory approval (Galloro, Modern Healthcare, 6/2).
Three current and former employees at Riverside County Regional Medical Center's psychiatric facility allege that they were sexually harassed and then discriminated against after complaining about working conditions and the quality of patient care, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reports.
The female employees claim that the managers of the Arlington campus cultivated an oppressive and unsafe work environment for employees and patients (Hines, Riverside Press-Enterprise, 5/29).
Last week, a Sonoma County Superior Court judge rejected a request to stop Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital from eliminating acute inpatient services at two medical campuses, the Santa Rosa Press Democrat reports.
The judge said the owners of the two medical facilities did not show that the closure of psychiatric, skilled nursing and rehabilitation programs at the two facilities has resulted in "material reduction in the fair market value of the real property comprising the facilities."
Sonoma County does not have any remaining acute inpatient psychiatric beds (Espinoza, Santa Rosa Press Democrat, 5/30).
The opening of Sharp Memorial Hospital's 304-bed patient tower has been delayed until November because of construction problems, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
The new tower's current projected cost is $200 million, about 5% more than the original estimate, according to Dan Gross, Sharp's executive vice president for hospital operations (Darcé, San Diego Union-Tribune, 6/2).
The opening of a $75 million patient tower at Simi Valley Hospital has been delayed until the state Department of Public Health inspects and approves it, the Ventura County Star reports.
The California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development already has approved the new tower, which is set to replace much of the existing facility (Ventura County Star, 5/30).
Last week, South Coast Medical Center closed its maternity unity, according to hospital executives, the Orange County Register reports.
The unit opened in 1959 (Woodall, Orange County Register, 5/29).
Tri-City Healthcare District will ask voters in an August ballot to approve a $589 million bond measure for Tri-City Medical Center, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
The measure would help Tri-City expand and renovate its emergency department, modernize its intensive care unit, expand urgent care facilities and meet state earthquake requirements, among other upgrades.
Two previous bond measures failed to receive two-thirds of voters' approval in June and November 2006 (Sherman, San Diego Union-Tribune, 5/30).