California Hospital News Roundup for the Week of May 7, 2010
Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento Medical Center
The American College of Surgeons has designated Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento Medical Center as a Level II Trauma Center, the Sacramento Bee reports. Level II Trauma Center is the group's second-highest designation (Tong, Sacramento Bee, 5/6).
Marin General Hospital
Marin Healthcare District has secured $60 million in loans from Union Bank to use as working capital when it regains control of Marin General Hospital from Sutter Health on July 1, the Marin Independent Journal reports.
In addition to the bank loans, the six major managed care companies that have contracts with Marin General have agreed to advance the district 60 days of payments for future services -- worth a total of $22 million in capital -- when it regains control of the hospital, according to the Healthcare DistrictÂ CEO Lee Domanico (Halstead, Marin Independent Journal, 4/29).
Marshall Hospital, Placerville
The California Department of Public Health is reviewing Marshall Hospital's policies and procedures after a mental health patient escaped and stole an ambulance in March. The patient later was shot to death by police, the AP/Ventura County Star reports (AP/Ventura County Star, 5/1).
Olive View-UCLA Medical Center, Sylmar
The Los Angeles County Department of Health Services has launched an investigation into allegations that staff at the neonatal intensive care unit at Olive View-UCLA Medical Center put infants at risk by providing substandard care, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Two staff members have been placed on paid leave after two anonymous complaints to the facility's accrediting body alleged that they had participated in a makeshift beauty salon in the ward. The complaints also claim that the unit is understaffed, that the physicians and nurses in the unit are under qualified and that mistakes are not reported (Hennessy-Fiske, Los Angeles Times, 5/6).Â
Southwest Healthcare Systems
On Monday, Ken Rivers took over as CEO of Southwest Healthcare System, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reports.
Hospital system owner Universal Health Services appointed Rivers to replace Dennis Knox as CEO in an effort to save the hospital from closure. Because of patient safety violations, state officials are in the process of trying to de-license Southwest, and CMS plans to end Medicaid and Medicare reimbursements on June 1.
Rivers previously served as CEO of Southwest's 228-bed Corona Regional Medical Center (Horseman, Riverside Press-Enterprise, 5/1).
Stanford Hospital & Clinics
Officials at Stanford Hospital & Clinics and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital have rejected a contract proposal from their nurses union, the San Jose Mercury News reports.
The union, which represents 2,700 registered nurses at the hospitals, has been without a contract since March 31.
On April 7, the union voted to reject the hospitals' "final offer" but did not vote to strike. Instead, on April 28 the union presented a counterproposal.
In a letter sent Tuesday, two top hospital officials said that they will not agree to any more concessions than what was proposed in their last offer.
Union officials say that their negotiating team will meet next week to decide its next move (Oremus, San Jose Mercury News, 5/5).
St. John's Regional Medical Center, Oxnard
St. John's Regional Medical Center is appealing Ventura County's Emergency Medical Services Agency's decision to recommend that the Board of Supervisors name Ventura County Medical Center as a west county trauma center instead of St. John's, the Ventura County Star reports.
The appeal will delay the county's June 1 target date of implementing an emergency care system based around one west county and one east county trauma center. The appeal also will push back contract approval between county supervisors and the selected trauma centers (Kisken, Ventura County Star, 5/4).
St. Jude Heritage Healthcare, Fullerton
St. Jude Heritage Healthcare recently sent letters to about 22,000 patients notifying them that their personal health information might have been improperly accessed after five computers were stolen from the facility, the Orange County Register reports.
The data were password protected but not encrypted. According to the hospital, the information might have included patients' Social Security numbers, birth dates and diagnosis data. The hospital is offering fraud monitoring services to affected patients (Perkes, Orange County Register, 4/29).
VA Palo Alto HospitalThe Pentagon Federal Credit Union Foundation is working to raise $12.5 million to build a 53-bed hotel for outpatients at the VA Palo Alto Hospital after reports that some veterans were sleeping in their cars while in town for treatment, the San Jose Mercury News reports (Oremus, San Jose Mercury News, 4/29).
ÂThis is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.