Hospital News Roundup for April 20
Antelope Valley Hospital this year will begin the first phase of a major expansion project that will expand the emergency department, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.
The $90 million project includes expanding the intensive care unit from 21 patient beds to 40, adding a second cardiac catheterization laboratory with holding rooms and recovery areas, and increasing the number of private beds from 157 to 162.
The hospital plans to borrow $30 million initially and finance the remainder of the project through new revenue from the expansion or additional loans (Maeshiro, Los Angeles Daily News, 4/15).
Viacom Chair Sumner Redstone this week awarded Cedars-Sinai Prostate Care Center a $35 million cash contribution to be paid out over five years, the Los Angeles Business Journal reports (Los Angeles Business Journal, 4/18).
Redstone said he underwent treatment over the last few years at Cedars-Sinai for prostate cancer. The grant will help support a six-year national prostate cancer study, he said (Mulligan, Los Angeles Times, 4/19).
Community Regional Medical Center this week completed its merger with University Medical Center and opened state-of-the-art trauma and burn units, the Fresno Bee reports.
All acute care services now are consolidated at CRMC. About 130 patients were transferred to CRMC from UMC, which closed its acute care center after the merger.
The merger has been planned since 1996, when Community Medical Centers -- the owner of CRMC -- agreed to take over UMC from the county and eventually combine the two hospitals (Anderson/Correa, Fresno Bee, 4/15).
The West Contra Costa Healthcare District last week accepted the resignation of Doctors Medical Center CEO Irwin Hansen, the San Francisco Business Times/East Bay Business Times reports.
John Gioia, chair of a joint-powers authority that oversees most of the hospital's services, said the hospital "cannot sustain itself under its current business model." He noted that the result may "be a downsized hospital with a very different range of services."
Gioia said an interim chief executive will be hired to manage the hospital on a month-to-month basis while officials determine a permanent solution (Rauber/Hogarth, San Francisco Business Times/East Bay Business Times, 4/13).
Eden Medical Center officials are awaiting price estimates before making a decision on whether to rebuild or retrofit the center's Castro Valley campus, the East Bay Business Times reports. The facility has a seismic retrofit deadline of 2013, with a possible extension to 2015.
The medical center in 2006 reported an overall profit of $6 million, but its San Leandro campus reported a $6 million loss. Despite financial issues, Eden officials said they have no plans to close San Leandro.
The Eden Township Healthcare District, which owns the medical center, purchased the San Leandro campus three years ago (Hogarth, East Bay Business Times, 4/13).
Kaiser Permanente this week began construction of an ambulatory surgery center at its Folsom facility, marking the first phase of a new medical campus, the Sacramento Business Journal reports.
The surgery center will contain six operating rooms and is slated to open in fall 2008.
The new medical campus also will include:
- A medical office facility for 120 physicians and about 450 staff, set to open in 2014; and
- A 224-bed hospital with more than 1,300 physicians and staff, expected to open in 2015 (Robertson/Anderson, Sacramento Business Journal, 4/13).
The National Cancer Institute has awarded "cancer center" designations to the Stanford Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Northern California Cancer Center, the East Bay Business Times reports.
The centers worked together to achieve the designation, which recognizes high-quality patient care and research (East Bay Business Times, 4/18).
Sutter Medical Center of Santa Rosa last week reported a $10.9 million loss for 2006, marking its sixth consecutive year without a profit, the Santa Rosa Press Democrat reports.
The cost of care for uninsured and indigent patients increased 50% last year to about $9.5 million, accounting for the majority of the loss. The hospital since 2001 has totaled a $72.9 million deficit, according to figures released last week.
Sutter is seeking approval from the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors to transfer services for indigent patients to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital (Benfell, Santa Rosa Press Democrat, 4/14).
A San Diego County judge last week ordered Tri-City Medical Center to seek an out-of-court settlement with a physician group and four insurers regarding $1.4 million in unpaid medical bills, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
The hospital is seeking payment for outpatient services provided to patients insured by Aetna, Blue Shield of California, Cigna and PacifiCare who were under the care of Physician Care Associates Medical Group. The bills involve more than 2,500 claims filed between January 2002 and September 2004.
State law prohibits the hospital from charging patients for unpaid bills if the patients' insurers have contracts with the hospital (Darce, San Diego Union-Tribune, 4/14).