California Hospital News Roundup for the Week of October 22, 2010
Adventist Health, Hanford
After 10 years of planning, the not-for-profit health system Adventist Health expects to open its new medical complex in Hanford in phases over the coming months, the Fresno Bee reports.
Adventist Health/Central Valley Network CEO Rick Rawson said the new complex will combine two existing hospitals -- Hanford Community Medical Center and Central Valley General Hospital -- which both are operating at capacity. Both hospitals will continue offering certain services.
The new Adventist Medical Center-Hanford will house Central Valley General Hospital's emergency, medical and surgical departments. The facility is slated to open Dec. 5. Adventist's adjacent Hanford Medical Pavilion primarily will offer outpatient services. The pavilion is scheduled to open Nov. 1 (Clough, Fresno Bee, 10/15).
Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula
On Thursday, Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula laid off 43 employees as part of a widespread effort to reduce hospital spending by $21 million, the Monterey County Herald reports. Hospital officials estimate that the layoffs and other employee spending reductions would cut hospital costs by $12 million.
The latest layoffs targeted nurses, laboratory workers, nutritionists and security personnel. Since the start of this year, the hospital has laid off 77 workers (Johnson, Monterey County Herald, 10/20).
David Grant Medical Center at Travis Air Force Base, Fairfield
David Grant Medical Center at Travis Air Force Base recently opened a technologically-advanced treatment center that will provide care for active duty military service members and veterans, the Vacaville Reporter reports.
The Heart, Lung and Vascular Center will provide treatment for congestive heart failure, coronary disease, restrictive lung disease and other conditions. The new center also will offer noninvasive vascular imaging technologies (Murphy, Vacaville Reporter, 10/13).
Loma Linda University Medical Center, Temecula
Katheryn Stiles -- director of marketing and communications for Loma Linda University Medical Center -- said the health system has not decided whether it will build a hospital in Temecula, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reports.
The announcement came after Temecula Mayor Jeff Comerchero and other officials suggested that the city was in discussions with Loma Linda about a new hospital. This summer, Loma Linda announced that it would conduct a feasibility study to evaluate the viability of constructing a hospital In Temecula. The feasibility study is not yet complete, Stiles said (Horseman, Riverside Press-Enterprise, 10/16).
Mills-Peninsula Health Services, Burlingame
Last week, officials from Mills-Peninsula Health Services said they have started seeking proposals from entities interested in purchasing its skilled-nursing and dialysis facilities, the San Jose Mercury News reports.
The hospital aims to reduce spending by $11 million annually by selling two skilled-nursing facilities, selling two dialysis centers and closing a pediatric care center. Combined, the facilities employ 219 people, including 69 registered nurses. It remains unclear whether such workers would lose their jobs, be reassigned or be hired by an entity purchasing the facility (Rosenberg, San Jose Mercury News, 10/18).
O'Conner Hospital, San Jose
Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare West has defeated the upstart National Union of Healthcare Workers in a union election among technical workers at O'Conner Hospital, Payers & Providers reports. Workers voted 238-99 in favor of SEIU-UHW.
Although the election took place in June, NUHW filed claims of unfair labor practices with the National Labor Relations Board, which delayed the final vote count (Payers & Providers, 10/21).
Parkview Community Hospital Medical Center, Riverside
Federal officials have backed off from threats to halt Medicare reimbursements for Parkview Community Hospital Medical Center, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reports. Last week, CMS officials sent a letter informing hospital administrators that the facility once again is in compliance with agency standards.
Federal regulators conducted a second inspection of Parkview in August after identifying problems with the hospital's surgical procedures during a January inspection. Hospital officials said the facility has updated its surgical checklist and plans to use diagnostic images to prevent operating room mishaps (Hines, Riverside Press-Enterprise, 10/20).
San Mateo Medical Center
The Sequoia Healthcare District has provided San Mateo Medical Center with a $4.3 million grant to help construct a consolidated clinic that will replace two existing clinics, the San Jose Mercury News reports.
The new clinic is expected to accommodate about 27,000 patients annually. The two existing clinics together serve about 20,000 patients annually.
Susan Ehrlich, CEO of the medical center, said Sequoia Healthcare District's grant could help the medical center build the $21.5 million consolidated clinic in a few years (Eslinger, Silicon Valley Mercury News, 10/19).
Watsonville Community Hospital
Watsonville Community Hospital has started directing ambulances transporting critical patients away from its emergency department to prepare for a 24-hour nurses' strike that is expected to take place next Tuesday, the Santa Cruz Sentinel reports. The strike is an attempt to reinvigorate negotiations over changes to the nurses' contracts.
Cindy Weigelt, a hospital spokesperson, said the hospital will remain open for patients not requiring hospitalization. Dominican Hospital in Santa Cruz is making plans to treat patients diverted from Watsonville.
Lisa Harlow, a representative for the California Nurses Association, said the decision to reduce ED services could jeopardize patient safety (Jones, Santa Cruz Sentinel, 10/20).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.