Hospital News Roundup for October 13, 2007
Children's Hospital Central California has hired two additional specialists as part of an effort to regain pediatric-trauma designation, the Fresno Bee reports.
The hospital's trauma designation was suspended in October 2006 after the hospital and Fresno county officials determined that the facility did not have enough specialists to guarantee 24-hour care for critically ill children.
Children's will not seek the designation until it has hired enough staff to ensure 24-hour service, Micheline Golden, hospital spokesperson, said, adding that the hospital has no timeline for the process (Correa, Fresno Bee, 10/9).
On Monday, Kern County's Board of Supervisors denied a request by Kern Medical Center to raise the facility's operating loan from $70 million to $80 million, the Bakersfield Californian reports.
State budget delays prevented the hospital from receiving reimbursements for treating patients enrolled in public health insurance. The hospital continues to lose thousands of dollars monthly as a result.
When a loan from the county reached $66 million recently, hospital officials asked the supervisors to raise the $70 million loan cap to avoid bankruptcy. The loan has since been reduced to $59 million.
The supervisors advised hospital staff to keep costs down and stay under the limit (Burger, Bakersfield Californian, 10/8).
On Monday, the San Carlos City Council approved the Palo Alto Medical Foundation's plans for a new medical center and 97-bed hospital, the San Francisco Examiner reports.
If all permits are secured, construction on the project would begin in 2009 and the hospital would begin accepting patients in 2012.
City residents who oppose the project are considering gathering signatures to put the plan before voters on a ballot, according to April Vargas of the San Carlos Residents for Healthy Open Debate (Winegarner, San Francisco Examiner, 10/10).
San Diego County has received a three-year, $7.7 million state grant to provide drug and alcohol screenings and treatment referrals to patients at Scripps Mercy Hospital and UC-San Diego Medical Center, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs provided the grant.
County officials said the program could expand to other hospitals (San Diego Union-Tribune, 10/5).
St. Joseph Hospital has finished construction of a new patient care center, the Orange County Register reports.
The facility includes:
- 150 inpatient beds;
- A suite of 14 operating rooms;
- A central sterile and supply suite;
- A free-standing remote central plant; and
- Central computer system hubs on each floor.
The project is part of St. Joseph's new master plan, which also will include upgrades to the original hospital building (Orange County Register, 10/9).
Later this month, UC-San Francisco Medical Center will begin providing fertility services in Marin County in partnership with Marin Reproductive Medical Associations, UCSF officials said on Monday, the San Francisco Business Times reports.
The new clinic, set to open Oct. 22, will provide consultations, screenings and daily tests required for some fertility care.
The clinic also will offer in vitro fertilization services and counseling about reproductive options for cancer patients (Rauber, San Francisco Business Times, 10/8).