California Hospital News Roundup for the Week of October 3, 2014
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center has told state and federal officials that the medical records of more than 33,000 patients were stolen when an employee's laptop was taken in a June burglary, the Los Angeles Times reports. The hospital had said in August that the laptop contained a minimum of 500 patient records (Pfeifer, Los Angeles Times, 10/1).
In related news, Cedars-Sinai's program for patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis has become the first in Southern California to be certified as an ALS Association Treatment Center of Excellence, according to a Cedars-Sinai release. To achieve certification, Cedars-Sinai met the ALS Association's standards for research initiatives and established comprehensive and collaborative services and approaches to patient care (Cedars-Sinai release, 9/30).
Dignity Health has announced it will construct a 35,000-square-foot medical office building in Woodland, the Sacramento Business Journal reports. The one-story building will employ about 100 people, including 25 physicians. The center will focus on providing primary care services, but also will offer a drop-in clinic with radiology services and specialists' offices (van der Meer, Sacramento Business Journal, 9/26).
In related news, Dignity Health generated a profit margin of 8.3% in fiscal year 2014, up from 7.8% in FY2013, the Business Journal reports. Overall, the health system's revenue increased from $10.4 billion in 2013 to $10.7 billion in 2014 (Robertson, Sacramento Business Journal, 9/25).
Doctors Medical Center, San Pablo
On Saturday, Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed a bill (SB 883) that allocates $3 million to Doctors Medical Center, KQED's "State of Health" reports. According to "State of Health," DMC has struggled financially for more than a decade and had been near closure for several weeks (Aliferis, "State of Health," KQED, 9/27).
The law took effect immediately. Assembly member Nancy Skinner (D-Oakland), who pushed for the law along with state Sen. Loni Hancock (D-Berkeley), said the funding should enable the hospital to remain open through January 2015 or February 2015 (Baires, Contra Costa Times/San Jose Mercury News, 9/28).
Hill Physicians, Dignity Health
Humana and Aetna have separately announced agreements with Dignity Health and Hill Physicians Medical Group, the San Francisco Business Times' "Bay Area BizTalk" reports.
Specifically, Aetna announced that it will form an accountable care organization with Hill Physicians in San Ramon and Dignity Health at the system's locations in San Francisco and Sacramento, San Joaquin and Yolo. Meanwhile, Humana said it has established a value-based partnership with Dignity and Hill to help treat the insurer's Medicare HMO enrollees in Sacramento, Placer and Yolo (Rauber, "Bay Area BizTalk," San Francisco Business Journal, 10/1).
St. Joseph Health, Orange
St. Joseph Health reported that operations cost the health system more than $16 million on $5.6 billion in revenue in fiscal year 2014, Modern Healthcare reports.
The health system said that its revenue increased by 13.6% over last fiscal year, but its expenses increased at a rate of 15.1%. However, the health system reported a $292.8 million surplus overall, giving it a positive margin of 5.2% (Herman, Modern Healthcare, 9/29).
Stanford Health Care, ValleyCare Health System
Stanford Health Care and ValleyCare Health System have signed an affiliation agreement in a merger that both groups' boards of directors approved last week, the Contra Costa Times/San Jose Mercury News reports.
According to the Times/Mercury News, ValleyCare under the agreement will become a subsidiary of Stanford and retain its medical staff while integrating its physician organization with Stanford's University Healthcare Alliance (Tsai, Contra Costa Times/San Jose Mercury News, 9/28). Regulators and ValleyCare's corporate members still have to approve the deal (Rauber, "Bay Area BizTalk," San Francisco Business Times, 9/29).
Washington Hospital, Fremont
The majority of Alameda County voters support a potential ballot initiative to cap Washington Hospital's CEO's salary at $450,000, according to a recent poll commissioned by SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West and the Ohlone Area United Democratic Campaign, according to an SEIU-UHW release.
The survey found that 72% of respondents support such a ballot measure, while 27% of those who said they oppose the ballot measure said they did so because they thought the cap was too high (SEIU-UHW release, 9/29).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.