California Hospital News Roundup for the Week of October 15, 2010
Children's Hospital Oakland
On Tuesday, about 100 nurses picketed at Children's Hospital Oakland to kick off a three-day strike that could involve nearly 800 employees represented by the California Nurses Association, the Oakland Tribune reports.
The nurses opted to strike over a contract proposal that would require them to pay more for health coverage. Hospital officials said that the facility is continuing to operate and that they have brought in contract nurses to maintain staffing levels (Maher, Oakland Tribune, 10/12).
Los Alamitos Medical Center
On Monday, the Los Alamitos City Planning Commission held a hearing on a proposed expansion project for Los Alamitos Medical Center, the Orange County Register reports.
The project, which would be completed in three phases, would add two new hospital buildings, one new medical office building and 164 new hospital beds to the existing 167-bed facility. An environmental impact report on the project is available for public review until Nov. 15 (Kopetman, Orange County Register, 10/13).
Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital
Last week, Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital started offering buyouts to hundreds of its union-represented employees as part of a plan to reduce spending, the Monterey County Herald reports.
The hospital aims to cut costs by up to $7 million by eliminating 165 positions. Officials are considering layoffs and other cost-cutting measures if the hospital falls short of its goal.
The California Nurses Association and Service Employees International Union are among the unions representing employees receiving buyout offers (Johnson, Monterey County Herald, 10/13).
Seton Medical Center, Daly City
Last week, Seton Medical Center President Lorraine Auerbach announced that the hospital would stop accepting patients for its skilled-nursing unit and would close the unit completely within two months, the San Jose Mercury News reports.
The medical center opted to close the skilled-nursing unit because of ongoing financial strain. The move is expected to reduce hospital spending by more than $2.5 million annually, Auerbach said. About 55 employees of Seton Medical Center could lose their jobs as a result of the unit closure (Gonzales, San Jose Mercury News, 10/7).
UC-San Francisco Medical Center
On Oct. 26, UC-San Francisco is scheduled to hold a groundbreaking ceremony to kick off construction on its new $1.52 billion, 848,000 square-foot hospital campus, the San Francisco Examiner reports. The project is expected to take four years (Koskey, San Francisco Examiner, 10/7).
UCSF's new 289-bed facility will specialize in treatment for women, children and cancer patients. So far, the university has raised $375 million of its $600 million fundraising goal for the project (Modern Healthcare, 10/11).
Valley Health System, Riverside County
On Wednesday morning, the private doctors' group Physicians for Healthy Hospitals assumed ownership of Valley Health System, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reports.
The $163 million transaction includes the sale of VHS' hospitals in Hemet and Menifee, as well as a chemical dependency treatment center and an administrative office building. VHS will continue operating the hospitals until Physicians for Healthy Hospitals receives new licenses and Medicare provider numbers, which is expected to occur before the end of the year. The doctors' group has hired 96% of VHS' staff (Wesson, Riverside Press-Enterprise, 10/14).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.