Hospital News Roundup for May 4
Adventist Health's corporate board on Monday approved the construction of a $112 million medical center, the Fresno Bee reports. The proposed 144-bed hospital is expected to replace Adventist's Hanford Community Medical Center by 2010.
Adventist officials said financing for the project will come from $90 million in tax-exempt community development bonds and $22 million through local operations and gifts.
Groundbreaking will take place this summer, according to a spokesperson (Lacayo, Fresno Bee, 5/4).
The new Johnnie L. Cochran Jr. Brain Tumor Center at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles on Thursday was dedicated, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The center was launched with more than $5 million in donations. The facility will focus on research advancements and new discoveries through patient trials and the government approval process. The center also seeks to expand and expedite patients' access to brain tumor treatments worldwide (Banks, Los Angeles Times, 5/4).
The Sacramento County health and human services office next week will release documents explaining reasons for its endorsement of Kaiser Permanente Medical Center's bid for a trauma center designation, according to Lynn Frank, director of the office, the Sacramento Bee reports.
Methodist Hospital in Sacramento, which also is seeking a trauma center designation, filed a request for the documents under the state's Public Records Act after the county declined to release the information (Kalb, Sacramento Bee, 4/28).
Timothy Moran, president of Methodist Hospital, said the hospital formally will file a protest to the county's recommendation within two weeks. County supervisors on July 24 will vote on the designation (Kalb, Sacramento Bee, 5/3).
Officials at Memorial Medical Center in Modesto announced that construction will be completed next week on the seven-story North Tower, the Modesto Bee reports.
The hospital on May 17 plans to admit the first orthopedic patients to the facility, followed by surgical patients the next day. The hospital on May 21 will begin scheduling surgeries in the tower.
The $170 million facility includes surgical suites featuring new technology, as well as 112 rooms for orthopedic and surgical patients (Carlson, Modesto Bee, 5/3).
Del Mar-based venture capital firm Select Health Care Solutions has offered to purchase Moreno Valley Community Hospital, along with the other two hospitals in the Valley Health System district, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reports.
District board members earlier this year announced plans to sell Moreno Valley Community Hospital after failing last year to pass a $485 million bond. Select Health Care Solutions is the only bidder seeking to purchase the entire hospital district.
Matthew Cutler, president and CEO of the firm, said he offered between $150 million and $330 million to convert the hospital district into a private, for-profit health care system. Cutler said he is negotiating with district physicians, who would have majority ownership under the deal.
The district board also is considering offers by Kaiser Permanente and a group of physicians at the hospital (Hines/Atienza, Riverside Press-Enterprise, 5/1).
A Sonoma County official last week announced that Norton Center, a public mental health hospital in Santa Rosa, on June 19 will stop accepting new patients and by July 1 will shut down, the Santa Rosa Press Democrat reports.
Art Ewart, mental health services director for the county, said the center has become "financially unsustainable" because of a rising number of uninsured patients, increasing costs for meeting mandatory staffing ratios, and low reimbursement rates from state and federal programs.
Ewart said the county hopes to replace the hospital with a new 16-bed inpatient facility within the next six months. The county currently is accepting bids for the new facility, he said (Benfell, Santa Rosa Press Democrat, 4/28).
Palm Drive Hospital directors on Wednesday voted unanimously to reopen the intensive care unit after being assured that it will generate enough revenue to boost hospital finances, the Santa Rosa Press Democrat reports.
The board less than one year ago closed the ICU in an effort to save $1 million annually. As a result, patient revenue dropped by more than $2 million.
The hospital expects to use grants or other external funding sources to pay for the unit's start-up costs, estimated at $280,000. Once operating, the unit is expected to generate between $500,000 and $3.7 million annually for the hospital (Benfell, Santa Rosa Press Democrat, 5/3).