California Hospital News Roundup for the Week of October 14, 2011
Alameda Hospital has received certification as a primary stroke center from the Joint Commission, a national accrediting agency, the Contra Costa Times reports.
The hospital previously had treated stroke patients under an exemption from county rules requiring patients to be transported to a certified stroke center. County health officials revoked the exemption in December 2010 following a resident's complaints about its effects on stroke care.
To earn stroke certification, hospital officials had to fulfill a number of requirements, including training staff, establishing policies on stroke care and educating the public on stroke symptoms (Ellson, Contra Costa Times, 10/11).
Community Regional Medical Center, Fresno
Community Regional Medical Center has settled a wrongful death lawsuit filed by a family of a patient who died in December 2010 after an overdose of the blood thinner heparin, KFSN reports.
According to KFSN, the hospital settled the lawsuit for close to $250,000, which is the maximum amount permitted by law (Rose, KFSN, 10/6).
Doctors Medical Center, San Pablo
Gov. Jerry Brown (D) recently signed into law a bill (SB 644), by Sen. Loni Hancock (D-Berkeley), that could help keep San Pablo-based Doctors Medical Center in operation, the Contra Costa Times reports.
The hospital has faced financial difficulties, and proponents of the measure said it will make it easier for the facility to borrow money.
The legislation allows lenders to secure a lien against the hospital's parcel tax revenue to offer assurance that their loans would not be modified if the hospital files for bankruptcy.
The facility could borrow up to $20 million this fall to meet its financial obligations through 2012 (Kleffman, Contra Costa Times, 10/10).
Eisenhower Medical Center, Rancho Mirage
Eisenhower Medical Center has received accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medicine to become a teaching hospital, the Palm Springs Desert Sun reports.
The hospital expects to start training physicians in 2013 to help fill a shortage in primary care physicians in the Coachella Valley. It will offer residency programs in internal and family medicine. Each program will run for three years and accept eight students annually.
The programs will be affiliated with the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine and Loma Linda University School of Medicine.
Of the $50 million needed to start the programs the hospital will offer, $17 million has been raised (Kaufman, Palm Springs Desert Sun, 10/12).
Enloe Medical Center, Chico
Enloe Medical Center has been recognized as a "Baby-Friendly birth facility" that systematically encourages new mothers to breastfeed their infants, the Chico Enterprise-Record reports.
The hospital received the designation under criteria developed by the World Health Organization andÂ the United Nations Children's Fund as providing an environment that supports and promotes breastfeeding.
Enloe began working toward the designation in 2004 by having a staff member become a credentialed lactation specialist. In addition, Enloe spokesperson Christina Chavira said the hospital taught physicians and employees about breastfeeding and made changes in the clinical management of breastfeeding (Chico Enterprise-Record, 10/12).
Martin Luther King Center for Public Health, Los Angeles
Last week, Los Angeles County officials opened the Martin Luther King Public Health Center, KPCC's "KPCC News" reports.
The center offers no-cost vaccinations, and testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections and tuberculosis.
The opening of the center is part of the construction of a new Martin Luther King medical campus. A new 120-bed hospital is expected to open within the next 16 months (Jahad, "KPCC News," KPCC, 10/7).
St. Mary Medical Center, Long Beach
St. Mary Medical Center is searching for potential partners in the wake of increasing financial challenges, the Long Beach Press-Telegram reports.
Mark Meyers -- senior vice president of operations for the Los Angeles Service Area for Catholic Healthcare West, which owns St. Mary -- said in a statement that the hospital continues to serve a growing number of uninsured residents.
He said the hospital has faced insufficient reimbursements from government health care programs and has provided nearly $75 million in charity care and community benefits in the last five years.
The hospital did not disclose whether any potential partners have come forward, whether there is a deadline for when the hospital can secure a partnership, or what could happen if the hospital does not find a partnership (Meeks, Long Beach Press-Telegram, 10/11).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.