Hospital News Roundup for July 6
Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, a Sutter Health affiliate, has won approval from Sutter and local hospital boards to design a $300 million construction project at its five campuses, the East Bay Business Times reports.
The projects are part of the hospital's effort to meet the state's 2013 seismic retrofitting deadline. The projects include a new patient tower and emergency department at the Oakland campus.
The design work will take about a year, after which the hospital will submit its construction plans to the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (Hogarth, East Bay Business Times, 7/2).
Children's Hospital Central California and Blue Cross of California last week agreed to a 30-day contract extension that allows the hospital to continue treating children enrolled in Medi-Cal and Healthy Families, the Fresno Bee reports.
Micheline Golden, a spokesperson for the hospital, said officials will continue to negotiate with Blue Cross for a contract.
Hospital officials said the facility last year lost more than $11 million on its Blue Cross Medi-Cal and Healthy Families contract. The hospital since February has been trying to negotiate a higher reimbursement rate (Correa, Fresno Bee, 6/30).
Children's Hospital and Research Center has yet to submit a blueprint for a rebuilding project or a seismic retrofit that was due last month, the San Francisco Business Times reports.
Oakland developers and civic officials are awaiting the blueprint as they determine whether to incorporate the hospital and research facility into plans for a biotechnology center.
Hospital officials over the last three years have considered a replacement facility and purchasing new equipment. Venita Robinson, a spokesperson for the hospital, said the process has taken longer than expected (Leuty/Rauber, San Francisco Business Times, 6/29).
Union nurses at Sharp HealthCare hospitals are planning a three-day strike beginning July 16 unless they reach a contract agreement with the hospital group by that date, union leaders said on Thursday, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. United Nurses Association of California/Union of Health Care Professionals represents all 3,400 nurses at Sharp's facilities.
Sharp officials and the nurses are in disagreement over:
- Staffing levels;
- Handling of quality-of-care complaints; and
- Whether nurses must join the union as a condition of employment.
Both sides said they hope to restart negotiations and avert a strike. Sharp is arranging temporary nurses from a staffing agency in case a strike occurs, Dan Gross, executive vice president for hospital operations, said (Darcé, San Diego Union-Tribune, 7/6). 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.