Hospital News Roundup for Oct. 26, 2007
Brotman Medical Center is expected to seek bankruptcy protection from creditors as early as this week, according to three executives familiar with the matter, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The hospital has tried for months to avoid seeking bankruptcy protection, but the facility continues to struggle to pay its growing debt, estimated to be as much as $50 million.
The hospital is expected to file under bankruptcy provisions that will allow more time to restructure its debt. In the meantime, the facility likely will reduce or discontinue some services, according to the Times (Costello, Los Angeles Times, 10/20).
On Thursday, California Pacific Medical Center officials announced a delay in plans to end pediatric and infant intensive care services at St. Luke's Hospital on Nov. 16, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
The delay comes after a Board of Supervisors meeting in which city officials said the hospital failed to comply with a city law that requires 90 days' notice before a hospital can end services. A new date for the closure has not been set (Colliver, San Francisco Chronicle, 10/26).
The planned closure was announced last week as part of a $2.4 billion overhaul plan. The plan also includes:
- Spending $1.7 billion to build a 425-bed hospital in the Cathedral Hill area of San Francisco;
- Converting the medical center's Pacific Heights campus to an outpatient facility (Colliver, San Francisco Chronicle, 10/20);
- Shifting acute-care services to the new hospital and the medical center's Davies campus;
- Building several community-care clinics; and
- Moving all labor and delivery services to one campus (Rauber, San Francisco Business Times, 10/19).
On Tuesday, Alameda County's Board of Supervisors voted to place a second measure on the February ballot asking voters to support a parcel tax increase to help fund a new facility for Children's Hospital Oakland, MediaNews/Oakland Tribune reports.
If approved, the original ballot measure would raise $300 million over 30 years to help pay for the proposed $700 million replacement facility for the hospital. Under the second measure, the parcel tax would be in effect for 35 years (Metinko, MediaNews/Oakland Tribune, 10/23).
If both measures receive the necessary two-thirds approval, the measure receiving the most votes would be adopted (Hogarth, East Bay Business Times, 10/23).
In other Children's Hospital news, nearly 650 unionized registered nurses have reached a tentative contract agreement with the hospital, the Oakland Tribune reports.
If ratified, the agreement would increase wages by 16% over three years and ensure that nurses can take breaks.
The California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee represents the nurses (Oakland Tribune, 10/21).
Hospital operator Tenet Healthcare plans to halt operations at Encino-Tarzana Regional Medical Center when its lease expires in February 2009 if Tenet and the hospital's landlord cannot agree on selling the facility to a new operator, according to Tenet officials, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.
A legal dispute between Tenet and the landlord, HCP, has stalled the sales negotiations, the Daily News reports. A key sticking point is whether the HCP or the tenant will have to pay the millions of dollars needed to meet seismic safety requirements by 2013.
Community activists have raised concerns that the hospital could close when the lease expires or that HCP will sell the land for development. More than 800 hospital supporters in the past week have sent letters to HCP petitioning for a sale (Cavanaugh, Los Angeles Daily News, 10/23).
Sacramento County's Board of Supervisors has postponed until Nov. 28 a meeting to award level II trauma center designation to either Kaiser Permanente or Methodist Hospital, the Sacramento Bee reports.
The meeting, originally scheduled for Nov. 6, was postponed due to a scheduling conflict (Kalb, Sacramento Bee, 10/20).
On Monday, the California Institute of Technology announced that it has sold St. Luke Medical Center to DS Ventures, a Beverly Hills developer, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The developer has not revealed its plans for St. Luke, but some neighbors are calling for a new emergency medical facility.
Dean Currie, a Caltech vice president, said the university sold the hospital because it was too costly to improve and too far from the main campus (Vincent, Los Angeles Times, 10/23).