California Hospital News Roundup for the Week of September 6, 2013
Behavioral Health Unit, Santa Cruz
In August, the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors agreed to spend an additional $445,000 on construction of the Behavioral Health Unit, pushing the total cost of the project to about $3 million more than its original $11.5 million estimate, the Santa Cruz Sentinel reports.
The additional funds are needed for extended worker hours and special equipment required to finish construction on the unit before the facility it was designed to replace -- a health care center run by Dominican Hospital -- closes on Jan. 1, 2014.
Officials believe the 16-bed unit will be ready for move-in by October, a month after its original completion date (Hoppin, Santa Cruz Sentinel, 9/3).
John Muir Health, Walnut Creek
John Muir Health has sold 26 laboratory draw stations based in Contra Costa, Alameda and Solano counties to LabCorp for an undisclosed amount, Payers & Providers reports (Payers & Providers, 9/5).
John Muir Health said it also would close its "core lab" in Concord and cease providing lab services to skilled nursing facilities once the deal is finalized, but noted that it would retain its two hospital-based labs (Rauber, "Bay Area BizTalk," San Francisco Business Times, 9/4).
Marshall Medical Center, Placerville
Marshall Medical Center has decided to cut health, dental and vision benefits for ineligible dependents of employees, the Sacramento Business Journal reports.
Marshall Medical hired consulting firm Keenan to conduct an audit, which required hospital employees with dependents to come forward between Aug. 15 and Aug. 31 or risk losing their health benefits.
According to Scott Comer -- vice president of human resources at Marshal Medical -- the audit could save the hospital about $396,000 annually in health benefit costs (Robertson, Sacramento Business Journal, 8/30).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.