California Hospitals Improve Seismic Regulation Compliance
California hospitals have made significant improvements in their compliance with seismic regulations in recent years, according to a report by the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development, Payers & Providers reports.
A 1994 law (SB 1953) required hospitals to upgrade their high-risk structures (Shinkman, Payers & Providers, 10/22).
The state Legislature extended a 2008 deadline several times to 2013, 2015 or 2020 for some facilities (California Healthline, 10/17/11). Hospitals have criticized the law, noting that it could result in costs of more than $110 billion when renovations are completed.
Details of Report
According to the OSHPD, nearly 91% -- or 2,706 -- of the state's 2,976 buildings operated by acute care hospitals are compliant with seismic infrastructure requirements, up from about 45% that were complaint in 2002.
OSHPD Director Robert David said, "California has made tremendous strides in improving the seismic safety of its hospitals for patients, staff and visitors," adding, "OSHPD is committed to ensuring earthquake-safe acute care facilities that can continue to function to provide quality health care to Californians during and after an earthquake."
According to the report, 270 buildings at 107 hospital campuses are undergoing upgrades. OSHPD said those locations are expected to be compliant by 2020.
Among the hospitals still renovating are:
- California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco, which is working on upgrades valued at $911 million;
- San Francisco General Hospital, with renovations valued at $672.5 million;
- Loma Linda University Medical Center, with renovations valued at $653.4 million;
- Lucile Packard Children's Hospital in Palo Alto, with renovations valued at $606.9 million;
- Kaiser Permanente in San Diego County, with renovations valued at $500.2 million; and
- Sutter Medical Center Sacramento, with renovations valued at $361.9 million (Payers & Providers, 10/22).