California Hospital News Roundup for the Week of Nov. 29, 2007
Community Regional Medical will turn a profit this year for the first time in four years, Tim Joslin, CEO of Community Medical Centers, said in his annual report to the Fresno County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, the Fresno Bee reports.
Joslin said the hospital is projected to make $8.7 million after expenses, a turnaround from last year when the facility had a $9 million deficit that mostly stemmed from losing $18 million in annual federal and state funding.
The hospital plans to add 50 new inpatient beds in January 2008, with another 50 beds in the near future, Joslin said (Correa, Fresno Bee, 11/27).
On Monday, Eisenhower Medical Center announced the receipt of a $1 million donation to create an endowment that will allow nurses to become certified through specialty associations, the Palm Springs Desert Sun reports.
Louise White, chief nursing officer at the hospital, said the endowment "will be there basically forever for the nurses of Eisenhower." She added that the money also will boost recruiting efforts.
The endowment will allow about 50 to 70 nurses to complete advanced training. The Coeta and Donald Barker Foundation contributed the donation (Urch, Palm Springs Desert Sun, 11/27).
On Tuesday, El Camino Hospital and the Service Employees International Union United Health Workers-West announced a tentative agreement on a new four-year contract, the San Jose Business Journal reports.
The contract would increase health benefits, wages and pension benefits. Union members must ratify the contract next week for it to take effect (Solovitch, San Jose Business Journal, 11/28).
The CDC is funding a $716,000 grant to Highland Hospital, Alta Bates Summit Medical Center and San Francisco General Hospital to expand HIV testing, prevention and treatment programs, the Oakland Tribune reports. The grant was announced Monday at a promotional event for World AIDS Day on Dec. 1.
Douglas White, an emergency department physician at Highland Hospital, currently is directing a program for routine HIV testing of all ED patients who give consent. CDC hopes that the program can become a model for urban hospitals nationwide (Grady, Oakland Tribune, 11/27).
On Tuesday, the Sacramento City Council voted 7-1 to approve a $200 million proposal by Mercy General Hospital to build a new cardiac center, the Sacramento Bee reports.
Opponents of the project voiced concern over its impact on the surrounding neighborhood. The hospital plans to demolish 13 apartment units and four homes to build the facility.
Hospital officials maintain that revisions to the project will assuage any negative impact. The revisions include reducing the height of the cardiac center from five stories to four and downsizing the number of inpatient beds from 120 to 91 (Milbourn, Sacramento Bee, 11/28).
Capital Public Radio's "KXJZ News" on Wednesday reported on the approval. The segment includes comments from Mercy President Denny Powell and a San Francisco resident (Adler, "KXJZ News," Capital Public Radio, 11/28).
A transcript and audio of the segment are available online.
The Joint Commission on Nov. 17 granted full accreditation to Methodist Hospital, the Sacramento Bee reports.
The hospital was denied full accreditation in March after it failed to meet the Joint Commission's standards in eight areas, including the need to have medication orders "written clearly and transcribed accurately," according to the Bee (Kalb, Sacramento Bee, 11/27).
Adriane Verozza, hospital spokesperson, said the full accreditation is effective for three years, retroactive to March (Robertson, Sacramento Business Journal, 11/26).
The Joint Commission downgraded Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center's accreditation status from full to provisional on Nov. 13, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The public hospital, which is run by Los Angeles County, failed to meet national standards for preventing unapproved abbreviations in medical documents. The abbreviation standard requires a 90% compliance rate, and Rancho officials reported a 77% rate.
The hospital has four months to take corrective action (Los Angeles Times, 11/27).