California Hospital News Roundup for the Week of March 28, 2008
Alta Bates Summit Medical Center on March 10 opened a $13 million cancer care center, which will offer diagnostic and breast health services at the hospital's Peralta Pavilion in Oakland, the East Bay Business Times reports.
The 11,000-square-foot center, called the Carol Ann Read Breast Health Center, is expected to perform as many as 40,000 breast exams annually (Hogarth, East Bay Business Times, 3/24).
Needles city officials last week voted to take over the Colorado River Medical Center on April 1 rather than transfer operations to San Bernardino County and downgrade its emergency department, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reports.
City Council member Don McCone said the city has about $1 million left to maintain the hospital, the equivalent of about one month's operating expenses.
City officials approached the county about taking over the hospital last year after they terminated the city's contract with hospital management company Lifepoint Hospitals. The county's takeover plan would have downgraded the emergency department to a 24-hour urgent care center and suspended the use of 53 inpatient beds for a year.
McCone said the council preferred to attempt to manage the hospital despite the financial risks (Ghori, Riverside Press-Enterprise, 3/26).
Kaiser Permanente on Tuesday opened a $280 million hospital in Panorama City that is part of a five-year, $4 billion project to modernize and open 11 facilities, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.
The 400,000-square-foot hospital is the first full-service facility to open in the San Fernando Valley in 14 years, officials said (Abram, Los Angeles Daily News, 3/25).
Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center on April 11 will close a behavioral health unit for seniors with depression and mental health issues, the Ventura County Star reports.
The 16-bed unit offers voluntary treatment for seniors with Alzheimer's, bipolar disorder and other conditions. The unit will close because it was losing money, about $500,000 in the last year, officials said (Kisken, Ventura County Star, 3/26).
On Monday, Memorial Hospital's mental health facility closed as part of a broader cost-cutting effort designed to redirect the hospital's focus toward core services at its main campus, the Santa Rosa Press Democrat reports.
The hospital said the psychiatric unit lost $22 million over the past three years, mostly because of the cost of unreimbursed care (Espinoza, Santa Rosa Press Democrat, 3/23).
The San Francisco General Hospital Foundation received a $2.26 million grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation to upgrade the hospital's IT system and adopt electronic prescriptions, the San Francisco Business Times reports.
The grant will help the hospital purchase a mobile data center and implement electronic medication administration software, which officials hope will improve communication and decrease medical errors (Rauber, San Francisco Business Times, 3/25).
St. Rose Hospital has invested $1.5 million in new medical imaging equipment for its breast center, which it has rebranded as a "Women's Imaging Center," the East Bay Business Times reports.
St. Rose opened the center in a medical office building earlier this month and acquired the new equipment this week. The equipment includes:
- An ultrasound system;
- Bone density tests for osteoporosis and other bone health issues; and
- Digital mammography units (Hogarth, East Bay Business Times, 3/26).