California Hospital News Roundup for the Week of October 2, 2009
Bakersfield Memorial Hospital/Mercy Hospitals of Bakersfield
Bakersfield Memorial Hospital and Mercy Hospitals of Bakersfield have jointly purchased a 50% stake in GEMCare Health Plan and Managed Care Systems LP, its sister company, the Bakersfield Californian reports.
GEMCare Health Plan is Kern County's second largest senior Medicare Advantage plan, and Managed Care Systems is a management service organization that offers administrative support to GEMCare Health Plan and other local self-funded employers.
According to Robert Severs, who will lead the new GEMCare Mercy Memorial Health System, the merger will not produce changes for the plan's current members (Edelhart, Bakersfield Californian, 9/29).
Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Torrance
On Tuesday, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted to approve the final component of a plan to expand the emergency department at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, the Torrance Daily Breeze reports (Evans, Torrance Daily Breeze, 9/29).
The renovation will add 50,000 square feet and 38 bays to the ED as part of an effort to ease overcrowding.Â The project is projected to cost $333 million (Therolf, Los Angeles Times, 9/29).
Kaiser Permanente, Anaheim
Last week, Kaiser Permanente opened a new, four-story, 117,000-square-foot building on its Anaheim campus, where construction on a new hospital is under way, the Orange County Register's "Healthy Living" reports.
The 262-bed facility is expected to be open in 2013 and will be the same design as Kaiser's Irvine hospital, which opened in 2008 (Perkes, "Healthy Living," Orange County Register, 9/25).
March Healthcare Development, Riverside County
A proposed 3.5 million-square-foot full-service medical complex on March Air Reserve Base is drawing mixed opinions from state, county and local advocates, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reports.
Supporters of the March Healthcare Development say it would create jobs and offer more health care services to area residents, but opponents of the plan are concerned that it would draw business and staff away from other local hospitals.
According to the Press-Enterprise, the project would create about 14,000 jobs and have a $2 billion economic impact on the area in about a decade. Lori Stoner, the March Joint Powers Authority's executive director, said it could be at least another month before a vote on the proposal is taken, as the authority's staff is going through several public comments on the project (Hines, Riverside Press-Enterprise, 9/27).
San Francisco General Hospital
The Orthopaedic Trauma Institute at San Francisco General Hospital and UC-San Francisco will join a new Extremity Trauma Clinical Research Consortium to study the outcomes of severe orthopaedic trauma suffered by U.S. military personnel in battle, the San Francisco Business Times reports.
The consortium will receive its funding from the Department of Defense's Orthopaedic Extremity Trauma Research Program and will include 11 other facilities.
In collaboration with military treatment centers and the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research, the new consortium will conduct multicenter clinical research studies pertaining to orthopaedic injuries sustained in combat (Rauber, San Francisco Business Times, 9/28).
San Joaquin General Hospital, Stockton
The San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors has deferred a vote on a list of seven recommendations aimed at improving the county hospital's financial performance, the Stockton Record reports.
In a month, county policymakers will return to consider recommendations by the Camden Group, a consulting firm the county hired to review San Joaquin General's finances and to temporarily assume management positions at the facility.Â The Camden Group advised the county to:
- Ask community hospitals for support for San Joaquin General;
- Reorganize San Joaquin General's clinics; or
- Begin a private partnership to manage, lease or operate San Joaquin General's inpatient facility (Johnson, Stockton Record, 9/30).
Santa Clara Valley Medical Center
On Sept. 24, Santa Clara Valley Medical Center broke ground on a 168-bed hospital wing, which will be one of the first "green" hospital buildings in the U.S., the San Jose Mercury News reports.
The building's design is expected to use less energy and save the hospital nearly $500,000 annually.Â
Funding for the construction was provided by Measure A, a bond measure approved by voters to help the facility fund upgrades toÂ its building to meet California seismic safety requirements. Construction on the hospital wing is scheduled to be finished in 2012 (San Jose Mercury News, 9/24).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.