Kaiser Permanente To Expand Facilities in West Contra Costa County
In response to growing membership in West Contra Costa County, Oakland-based HMO Kaiser Permanente will expand its facilities in Richmond and Pinole, the Contra Costa Times reports. Under the plan, Kaiser will add 22 beds, an increase of about 50%, to Kaiser Richmond Medical Center and add a parking lot. Kaiser also plans to add three operating rooms and orthopedic and pediatric surgery facilities to the hospital. According to Sherie Hickman, director of hospital operations at Kaiser Richmond Medical Center, the facility currently is operating close to capacity. In addition, Kaiser will lease a new medical office building in Pinole that the city is developing for the HMO. The building will provide office space for 40 primary care doctors and nurse practitioners who will offer internal medicine, laboratory, radiology, obstetrics, gynecology, pediatrics, pharmacy and psychiatric services. Officials for Kaiser said the new facilities will be completed by the end of 2006 at a total cost of about $50 million. Mary Ann Thode, president of Kaiser Permanente's Northern California Region, said that membership in the Richmond and Pinole areas will increase by about 14% over the next 10 years. West Contra Costa County is "an important area for us," Thode said, adding, "Even with the poor economy, it's experienced significant growth" (Silber, Contra Costa Times, 3/4).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.