California Hospital News Roundup for the Week of October 16, 2015
Daughters of Charity Health System
A state-hired consulting firm has recommended that California Attorney General Kamala Harris (D) only approve BlueMountain Capital Management's proposed acquisition of the Daughters of Charity Health System under certain conditions, the San Jose Mercury News reports (Seipel, San Jose Mercury News, 10/14).
In July, BlueMountain agreed to make an initial $250 million investment in DCHS (California Healthline, 7/24). The hedge fund has offered to keep the safety-net hospitals open for at least five years.
However, the consulting firm recommended that the deal only be approved if BlueMountain agrees to operate most of the hospitals as acute-care medical facilities for at least 10 years. Harris has until Nov. 19 to endorse or reject the deal (San Jose Mercury News, 10/14).
Kaiser Permanente is planning to open new medical offices in Santa Cruz County, the Santa Cruz Sentinel reports.
Kaiser will repurpose three offices in Watsonville, Santa Cruz and Scotts Valley, totaling 41,000 square feet. Construction is projected to start late this year.
Jessie Mangaliman, media relations manager for Kaiser Permanente Northern California, said, "We are moving our plans forward to enter the market, however at this time additional details are not available" (Gumz, Santa Cruz Sentinel, 10/13).
Sutter Health has renewed its network relationship with UnitedHealthcare, the Sacramento Bee reports.
The deal gives consumers enrolled in UnitedHealthcare's Medicare Advantage plans access to Sutter Health hospitals and its network of about 5,000 physicians through 2017. In addition, the agreement will expand the use of performance-based incentives to reward Sutter providers based on their quality of care (Glover, Sacramento Bee, 10/12).
Tri-City Medical Center, UC-San Diego Health System
On Wednesday, Tri-City Medical Center and the UC-San Diego Health System announced that their affiliation agreement has been approved, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
Under the deal, UC-San Diego providers will offer assistance at the medical center, but Tri-City will maintain its independence. Meanwhile, the deal could provide UC-San Diego medical students with access to more complex cases and training opportunities (Sisson, San Diego Union-Tribune, 10/14).
UC-Davis Children's Hospital
An antibiotic stewardship program at UC-Davis Children's Hospital decreased the rate of Clostridium difficile infections among pediatric patients more than threefold between 2011 and 2014, according to a hospital release, FierceHealthcare reports.
Under the program, providers audited medical charts three times per week to determine whether antimicrobial prescriptions were appropriate, while certain restricted broad-spectrum or expensive antibiotics required authorization from an infectious disease specialist. The program also helped cut annual antibiotic costs from $277,620 to $221,590 (Bird, FierceHealthcare, 10/12).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.