Hospital News Roundup for March 3
Community Regional Medical Center on Tuesday opened its new intensive care unit, the Fresno Bee reports.
The hospital has undergone hundreds of millions of dollars in construction as it prepares to absorb hospital services from University Medical Center, a county hospital purchased in 1996. All acute inpatient services, including burn and trauma, by April will relocate to Community (Correa, Fresno Bee, 2/28).
Fremont Hospital in early March will open a new wing that expands the capacity of the psychiatric facility by 16 patient beds, the Oakland Tribune reports.
Ed Burger, the hospital's marketing director, said the 80-bed facility for several years has turned away patients because of space limitations. The new wing took two years to build and will serve only adult patients, according to Burger (Woodall, Oakland Tribune, 2/26).
Kaiser Permanente officials last week said its delayed opening of a new Modesto hospital has been caused partly by scheduling changes and an effort to establish its electronic medical record system at all clinics and hospitals in Northern California, the Modesto Bee reports.
Terry Lightfoot, a Kaiser spokesperson, said within the next year more than half a dozen facilities are scheduled to open. "We want to make sure we have appropriate spacing in opening the facilities," Lightfoot said.
Construction on the Modesto hospital should be completed this summer, but the facility's opening is set for October 2008, one year after the original date.
Lightfoot said the delay was not related to a 66% increase in hospital construction costs, or to Kaiser's operations deficit in the region (Carlson, Modesto Bee, 2/24).
Natividad Medical Center officials last week unveiled a business plan to hospital trustees, county staff and hospital staff that seeks to save the county $27 million in subsidies over the next three years and improve hospital earnings, the Monterey County Herald reports.
According to the plan, county supervisors must transfer management of the hospital to the hospital's board of trustees in a timely matter to turn around the hospital's deficit, projected at $60 million over the next three years (Johnson, Monterey County Herald, 2/23).
The leader of the investor group that attempted to block the sale of Paradise Valley Hospital to Prime Healthcare Services said Wednesday that he will not challenge the attorney general's approval of the acquisition, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports (Darcé, San Diego Union-Tribune, 3/1).
The Paradise Valley Preservation Group offered a rival bid to buy the hospital and maintain its not-for-profit status, but the bid was rejected.
Some community leaders opposing the sale are calling for a federal investigation into the negotiation and approval of the sale (Clark, San Diego Union-Tribune, 2/28).
San Joaquin Community Hospital temporarily will offer free mammograms for women without health insurance or with insurance that has a high deductible for the service, the Bakersfield Californian reports.
Mimi Audelo, foundation director for the hospital, said the program will provide about 300 mammograms through June (Hagedorn, Bakersfield Californian, 2/26).