Hospital News Roundup for August 10
The California Hospital Association and local San Jose hospitals are opposing the planned California Center for Healthcare and Biomedical Technology, a physician-owned surgery hospital set to break ground later this year, the San Jose Business Journal reports.
The federal government last year lifted a congressional moratorium that had restricted construction of new physician-owned surgery hospitals.
Jan Emerson, vice president of external affairs for CHA, said physician-owned hospitals "can cherry pick the well-insured patients and leave community hospitals to take care of the uninsured and Medi-Cal patients," which can lower revenue for community hospitals.
The new hospital, scheduled to open in 2009, will include:
- 40 inpatient beds;
- Six intensive care unit beds; and
- An independent research foundation to facilitate clinical trials (Solovitch, San Jose Business Journal, 8/6).
Community Medical Centers has unveiled a five-year plan to add more than 200 hospital beds, purchase new technology, establish research programs and improve finances, the Fresno Bee reports.
The not-for-profit hospital system operates Community Regional Medical Center, Clovis Community Hospital and Fresno Heart & Surgical Center.
About half of the new beds are planned for the Clovis facility, as well as four more operating rooms by 2009 (Correa, Fresno Bee, 8/9).
Unionized nurses at Sutter Delta Medical Center this week authorized the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee to call a strike if negotiations over a new contract remain stalled, the Oakland Tribune reports.
The nearly 300 nurses have been without a contract since Sept. 30, 2006, and no talks have occurred since the hospital made a "last, best and final" offer on July 6.
The nurses oppose the hospital's proposed changes in health care benefits that union leaders maintain would limit nurses' choices of providers and increase copayments and deductibles (Kleffman, Oakland Tribune, 8/4).
The Department of Public Health on Tuesday approved a plan for St. John's Regional Medical Center to temporarily close its emergency department on Wednesday to prepare the hospital for mold fumigation, the Los Angeles Times reports (Griggs, Los Angeles Times, 8/8).
The hospital plans to close the entire facility for 16 days beginning Aug. 14 to fumigate. However, the fumigation still needs approval from the Department of Pesticide Regulation.
A spokesperson for the agency said last week that it is unlikely the plan will be approved in time for the hospital to begin fumigating on Aug. 17. Hospital officials said a delay in the approval could mean a longer closure for the entire facility, including the ED (Kisken, Ventura County Star, 8/8).