California Hospital News Roundup for the Week of May 14, 2010
Arrowhead Regional Medical Center, Colton
In a letter dated April 30, CMS informed Arrowhead Regional Medical Center that it has until May 17 to submit a plan for improving patient care or it could risk losing its contract for Medicare and Medicaid services by July 30, the San Bernardino County Sun reports.
Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements account for about half of ARMC's revenue, officials said (Nelson/Steinberg, San Bernardino County Sun, 5/6).
In the letter, CMS noted that a November inspection found the facility out of compliance in nine areas. Hospital officials said they have corrected nearly all of the problems documented in the November inspection (Hines, Riverside Press-Enterprise, 5/6).
Community Memorial Hospital, Ventura
Community Memorial Hospital is expected to break ground on a new $320 million, six-story building in November, the Ventura County Star reports.
Gary Wilde, CEO and president of Community Memorial Health Systems, said the new building likely will take three-and-a-half years to complete. The building is expected to have 252 private rooms and meet seismic safety standards.
In related news, Community Memorial Hospital is on track to complete its new $7.5 million cancer center in October (Gregory, Ventura County Star, 5/6).
County-USC Medical Center, Los Angeles
The Los Angeles County Department of Health Services has launched an investigation into allegations that patients wait an average of 35 hours before being seen at the County-USC Medical Center's emergency department, the Los Angeles Times reports. Health officials also received complaints that hospital staff have failed to sufficiently protect patient privacy.
A county spokesperson disputed the claims and said the ED's average wait time is less than nine hours (Lin/Hennessy-Fiske, Los Angeles Times, 5/13).
Doctors Medical Center of Modesto
The Joint Commission has designated Doctors Medical Center of Modesto as a primary stroke center, the Modesto Bee reports.
Prior to the designation, the closest stroke centers were in Fresno, the San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento (Carlson, Modesto Bee, 5/9).
Hemet Center for Medical Excellence
On Thursday, officials announced that the Hemet Center for Medical Excellence is slated to open on June 1 after funding mishaps delayed the project for six months, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reports.
The first phase of the complex will include four buildings and cost about $20 million, officials said. The center eventually aims to include up to eight buildings depending on demand (Rokos, Riverside Press-Enterprise, 5/8).
Heritage Oaks Hospital, Sacramento
Psychiatric facility Heritage Oaks Hospital has opened a new wing with 49 additional beds, bringing total beds to 125, the Sacramento Business Journal reports. In January, the hospital converted 36 beds to geriatric inpatient care.
Officials said they expect the expansion to increase access to mental health services in Sacramento County (Robertson, Sacramento Business Journal, 5/12).
Hillmont House, Ventura
On Tuesday, the Ventura County Board of Supervisors approved a budget request to convert Hillmont House into a 15-bed, short-term rehabilitation facility for patients with mental health issues, the Ventura County Star reports.
Hillmont House currently provides rehabilitation services to patients for a period of up to 18 months. In the budget request, the board set aside $1 million to convert the facility into a short-term center that would provide services for no more than 30 days (Wilson, Ventura County Star, 5/11).
Olive View-UCLA Medical Center, Sylmar
On Tuesday, state regulators announced plans to inspect Olive View-UCLA Medical Center after discovering that hospital and county officials were unaware that the facility's neonatal intensive care unit had been downgraded for more than a year and a half, the Los Angeles Times reports (Hennessy-Fiske/Lin, Los Angeles Times, 5/12).
In November 2008, the California Department of Health Care Services downgraded Olive View's NICU after finding that it lacked proper staffing. The state ordered the facility to transfer infants needing a ventilator for more than four hours to a hospital that could provide a higher level of care (Hennessy-Fiske/Lin, Los Angeles Times, 5/7).
On Tuesday, Los Angeles County health officials announced that Olive View would transfer all infants who need ventilators for more than four hours to a different hospital. County officials said the facility is applying to regain mid-level NICU status (Los Angeles Times, 5/12).
South Los Angeles
On Tuesday, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved a $14 million contract for a new outpatient health center in South Los Angeles, KPCC's "KPCC News" reports. The facility will be located near the former Martin Luther King Jr.-Drew Medical Center.
Officials said the new center will focus on providing immunizations and treating sexually transmitted infections and tuberculosis ("KPCC News," KPCC, 5/11).
St. Joseph Hospital, Orange
St. Joseph Hospital's Center for Cancer Prevention and Treatment has received $3.1 million in federal funds to expand services and implement electronic health records, the Orange County Register reports.
The funding comes from the 2009 federal economic stimulus package (Perkes, Orange County Register, 5/7).
Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento
On May 10, Sutter Medical Center launched a new initiative called the Pediatric Sleep Disorders Program, the Sacramento Bee reports.
Amer Khan of the Sutter Neuroscience Medical Group will help lead the new project. The program aims to bring together various specialists to treat children with sleeping disorders (Tong, Sacramento Bee, 5/10).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.