California Hospital News Roundup for the Week of May 2, 2014
Alta Bates Summit Medical Center
On April 25, Alta Bates Summit Medical Center officials confirmed that the hospital system has cut 139 jobs over the past few months, while the system's effort to cut another 219 jobs remains stalled over legal challenges, the San Francisco Business Times' "Bay Area BizTalk" reports.
Alta Bates earlier this year posted a notice about the 358 scheduled layoffs -- and a restructuring of its nursing staff -- but the California Nurses Association challenged the cuts and changes that were related to nursing positions (Rauber, "Bay Area BizTalk," San Francisco Business Times, 4/25). Currently, both organizations are waiting for a final decision by an outside arbitrator on whether the hospital system can proceed with the plan (California Healthline, 3/28).
City of Hope Hospital, Los Angeles
The City of Hope Hospital's Childhood Cancer Survivorship Program serves about 500 patients, including pediatric patients undergoing cancer treatment and adult patients who survived cancer in their childhood, KPCC's "KPCC News" reports.
Program Director Smita Bhatia said she has been able to share her findings on the long-term effects of childhood cancers with physicians treating patients with such diseases (Aguilera, "KPCC News," KPCC, 4/29).
College Medical Center, Long Beach
Last week, Michael Drobot -- former owner of Pacific Hospital in Long Beach, now called College Medical Center -- pleaded guilty to federal charges for conspiracy and for paying kickbacks to physicians who referred patients to the hospital for spinal surgeries, the AP/Sacramento Bee reports.
According to the Bee, the scheme could have produced up to $500 million in fraudulent claims. Drobot now faces up to 10 years in prison (AP/Sacramento Bee, 4/25).
Doctor's Medical Center, San Pablo
Two local property owners have spent $27,500 on campaign mailers to deter voters in the San Pablo area from approving a proposed parcel tax for Doctors Medical Center, the Contra Costa Times reports (Rogers, Contra Costa Times, 4/24).
Last month, the West Contra Costa Healthcare District Board of Directors said that DMC would be forced to close as early as July 25 if it does not secure the annual $20 million that would be collected under the proposed parcel tax, among other things. Residents will vote on the tax on May 6 (California Health Line, 3/28).
According to the Times, a campaign in favor of the tax has collected more than $400,000 (Contra Costa Times, 4/24).
John Muir Medical Center, Concord
In March, John Muir Medical Center opened a $9.8 million, 6,000-square-foot integrated nuclear medicine and noninvasive cardiology department, the Contra Costa Times reports.
The department includes two new nuclear "gamma cameras" that allow physicians to use nuclear medicine to better visualize organs, tissues and bones (Tsai, Contra Costa Times, 4/25).
Petaluma Health Center
On Wednesday, Petaluma Health Center officials announced plans to open by 2015 a new health care facility in Rohnert Park that focuses on primary care and dental services, the North Bay Business Journal reports.
Officials said the center aims to offer services to about 5,000 patients in its first year, gradually expanding to between 10,000 and 15,000 patients (Verel, North Bay Business Journal, 4/30).
ValleyCare Health System
On April 29, John Sensiba, chair of the ValleyCare Health System board of directors, said that the hospital system is in affiliation talks with seven potential partners, the San Francisco Business Times' "Bay Area BizTalk" reports (Rauber, "Bay Area BizTalk," San Francisco Business Times, 4/29).
The 242-bed hospital system -- which includes 300 on-staff physicians and 1,600 overall staff -- lost $5.1 million on its $298 million revenue for fiscal year 2013 and earlier this year cut 24 jobs and reduced executive salaries. Last week, ValleyCare Health officials announced that the organization was seeking an affiliation with a larger partner (Rauber, "Bay Area BizTalk," San Francisco Business Times, 4/25).
On Tuesday, Sensiba said that the hospital system hopes to narrow its candidate pool by June 30 ("Bay Area BizTalk," San Francisco Business Times, 4/29).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.