California Hospital News Roundup for Week of May 28, 2010
Loma Linda University
On Tuesday, Loma Linda University unveiled its new 476-square-foot, $32 million rehabilitation hospital for patients with amputations or serious brain and spinal cord injuries, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reports.
The facility is awaiting approval of its medical licensing, university officials said. They added that they expect the center to begin treating its first patients by July (Santschi, Riverside Press-Enterprise, 5/25).
Loma Linda University Medical Center
A recent CMS investigation of Loma Linda University Medical Center identified two cases of "immediate jeopardy," in which inadequate patient care posed a serious threat of injury or death, the San Bernardino County Sun reports.
CMS spokesperson Jack Cheevers said the investigation was prompted by a complaint. Cheevers said he could not elaborate on the agency's findings until federal regulators draft a report and the medical center submits a corrective plan of action (Nelson, San Bernardino County Sun, 5/24).
In related news, law enforcement authorities have announced that they are investigating the recent theft of a desktop computer that disappeared from an administrative office at Loma Linda University Medical Center. The computer contained patient names, medical record numbers, diagnostic data and surgery information on 500 patients.
Medical center officials said they have notified affected patients about the possible data breach (AP/Ventura County Star, 5/26).
Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center, Thousand Oaks
The Thousand Oaks Planning Commission recently voted 4-0 to recommend that the City Council approve Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center's expansion plans, the Ventura County Star reports.
The hospital aims to add a new 60-bed patient tower, a parking structure and an additional floor to a three-floor hospital wing. Officials said the project would bring Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center into compliance with state seismic safety regulations and allow the facility to meet growing patient demand (Rochester, Ventura County Star, 5/25).
Redlands Community Hospital
A group of former workers have filed a class-action lawsuit against Redlands Community Hospital, alleging that the facility lowered base pay for employees who worked 12-hour shifts after a 1999 state law required overtime pay for employees working more than eight hours per day, the San Bernardino County Sun reports. The lawsuit is seeking nearly $18 million in damages.
Hospital spokesperson Nikyah Pfeiffer said the "vast majority" of staff agreed to the wage change and voted to continue working 12-hour shifts after the law's passage.
The lawsuit is expected to go before a court on June 1 (Gill, San Bernardino County Sun, 5/20).
Riverside County's Economic Development Agency has voted to post a proposal and begin seeking bids for a project to build an estimated $4.5 million health care facility in Desert Hot Springs, the Palm Springs Desert Sun reports.
The proposed 24,000-square-foot medical center will replace a temporary health care clinic that currently is under construction.
Funding for the permanent clinic will come from $3.5 million in Palm Desert Redevelopment Pass-through funds and $1 million offered by the Desert Healthcare District for land. Bond proceeds will cover any remaining costs (McGinty, Palm Springs Desert Sun, 5/27).
San Gorgonio Memorial Hospital, Banning
A building project at San Gorgonio Memorial Hospital in Banning is 57% complete, according to a recent presentation at the hospital, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reports. The project involves the construction of a central plant that will house an emergency generator, boilers and chillers.
A $108 million local bond measure is financing the hospital's expansion projects. The facility already has completed a new road, helipad, oxygen farm, cooling tower and underground utilities (Waldner, Riverside Press-Enterprise, 5/23).
Stanford Hospital & Clinics and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital, Palo Alto
On Monday, the Palo Alto City Council said it might require Stanford University to provide an explicit guarantee that proposed expansion projects at Stanford Hospital & Clinics and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital would not result in any ongoing costs for the city, Palo Alto Weekly reports.During the council meeting, a city consultant said the expansions would cost Palo Alto about $1.1 million in annual ongoing costs. However, a Stanford consultant said the projects would generate enough taxes and fees to exceed the city's costs by about $7.6 million (Sheyner, Palo Alto Weekly, 5/25). 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.