California Hospital News Roundup for the Week of March 20, 2015
Dignity Health Dominican Hospital, Santa Cruz
Dignity Health Dominican Hospital has unveiled a new $2.1 million endoscopy ultrasound suite intended to provide less invasive services for diagnosing issues with the digestive tract, pancreas and liver, the Santa Cruz Sentinel reports.
The hospital previously referred patients to out-of-county centers.
Susan MacMillan, senior director of strategy and business development at the hospital, said the services offered in the suite now are expected to draw about 250 patients annually (Gumz, Santa Cruz Sentinel, 3/16).
Kaiser Permanente is participating in two nationwide clinical trials involving patients in California and other states to improve lung cancer treatment, the Livermore Independent reports (Garberson, Livermore Independent, 3/19).
The LUNG-MAP and ALCHEMIST clinical trials aim to link patients with the most effective treatment based on genetic markers (Raskin-Zrihen, Vallejo Times-Herald/San Jose Mercury News, 3/11). The trials are available to qualified members at all Kaiser medical centers in Northern California, Southern California, the Northwest and Hawaii (Livermore Independent, 3/19).
San Francisco General Hospital
San Francisco General Hospital has launched a pilot program for California's first rapid tuberculosis genetic test, the San Francisco Examiner reports. According to the Examiner, San Francisco has the second-highest rate of tuberculosis in the state.
The test detects DNA sequences from TB-causing bacteria and can deliver results within two hours, compared with the two weeks it takes for traditional tests to verify the illness. The test also reduces the need to isolate patients.
The pilot program will run through June (Dudnick, San Francisco Examiner, 3/18).
Sutter Santa Rosa Regional Hospital
The California Nurses Association has voted to approve a potential strike over staffing and medical benefit changes for nurses at the Sutter Santa Rosa Regional Hospital, the Santa Rosa Press Democrat reports.
CNA is in contract negotiations with Sutter Health and there currently are no plans to launch a strike. However, the vote authorized the nurses' negotiating team to call for one if considered necessary (Espinoza, Santa Rosa Press Democrat, 3/15).
UC-San Francisco Medical Center, John Muir Health
UC-San Francisco Medical Center and John Muir Health have announced plans to develop a joint network that includes a new health insurance arrangement and tools designed to boost care coordination for physicians and patients, among other features, the San Francisco Business Times' "Bay Area BizTalk" reports.
In addition, the hospital systems will create a development company to help build new medical facilities and expand their provider networks. According to "Bay Area BizTalk," both facilities will remain independent under the agreement (Rauber, "Bay Area BizTalk," San Francisco Business Times, 3/16).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.