KAISER PERMANENTE: Will Open New Panorama City Hospital
U.S. Rep. Howard Berman (R-Mission Hills) joined Kaiser Permanente yesterday in announcing that the HMO will replace its quake-damaged Panorama City Hospital with a new facility next door. "I'm delighted that Kaiser Permanente has decided to rebuild its Panorama City Hospital," said Berman, who was "instrumental" in securing Federal Emergency Management Agency funding for the new hospital (Kaiser release, 1/21). The Los Angeles Times reports that originally Kaiser had considered closing the 325-bed facility and using the $68 million in FEMA "repair money it received for the site to fix other facilities." Berman, however, was opposed to this and crafted federal legislation that prevented Kaiser from using the money outside Panorama City. Under a deal brokered between Berman and Kaiser, "the hospital must be open by 2007" (Bustillo, 1/22). At that time, the facility will be in compliance with the state's new seismic codes that take effect in 2008. "For the past 36 years we have cared for the people in this community. We are very pleased that we will continue our service in a new state-of-the-art facility here," said Kaiser Senior Vice President Deborah Lee-Eddie (release, 1/21). Click here for previous coverage of the hospital.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.