California Hospital News Roundup for the Week of May 22, 2009
Community Regional Medical Center, Fresno
On May 14, the Fresno City Council accepted a $600,000 interest-free loan from Community Regional Medical Center to expedite plans for creating a "quiet zone" in downtown Fresno, the Fresno Bee reports. The quiet zone is intended to silence train horns in the downtown area.
The loan will allow the quiet zone to be created by July 2010 instead of September 2011, the date specified in a 2008 agreement.
The city will repay the loan from its budget over a four-year period (Clemings, Fresno Bee, 5/14).
Marin General Hospital
A new report issued by the Marin County Civil Grand Jury states that a plan to place Marin General Hospital under public control starting in 2010 should be canceled because of the severe financial risk it would pose, the Marin Independent Journal reports (Halstead, Marin Independent Journal, 5/16).
The Marin Healthcare District intends to end a long-term lease with operator Sutter Health in late June of 2010 and run Marin General as a standalone facility (Rauber, San Francisco Business Times, 5/14).
The report cites "unacceptably high" risks of the hospital failing if placed under district management.
Instead, the report recommends selling the hospital to a financially strong health care system "such as Sutter Health" (Marin Independent Journal, 5/16).
Sutter Health, Sacramento
On May 19, Sutter Health announced that 121 information technology positions in its Rancho Cordova facility will be released immediately, the Sacramento Bee reports (Glover, Sacramento Bee, 5/19).
According to the Sacramento Business Journal, an unspecified number of the positions support Sutter's electronic health records division. Sutter has put hospital-based EHR installations on hold at least until 2010 and instead plans to expedite roll-out to physicians (Robertson, Sacramento Business Journal, 5/18).The workers were notified on May 18 that they would be released immediately, although they will be paid through July 17 when they will begin receiving severance payments pursuant to their tenure and positions with Sutter (Sacramento Bee, 5/19). 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.