OSHPD Delays Billions in Hospital Construction Projects, Officials Say
Health care experts say California's Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development is delaying hospital construction projects that could help boost the state's economy, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reports.
OSHPD is charged with overseeing construction of California health care facilities, including reviewing initial construction plans.
Officials say state budget cuts and increasedÂ regulation are hurting OSHPD's ability to review construction projects that are worth billions of dollars.
The agency is funded by fees paid by health care facilities, but it underwent furlough and hiring freezes imposed in 2009 by former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R).
Details of the Delays
Hospital officials say that OSHPD project reviews --Â which can take more than one year --Â can prolong projects, cause costs to increase and restrain the creation of new jobs.
Dev GnanaDev -- Arrowhead Regional Medical Center's medical director and past president of the California Medical Association -- said OSHPD needs more staff and has been negatively affected by the regulations it enforces.
The Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. estimated earlier this year that OSHPD has held up $23 billion worth of construction in California. Those projects could create about $2 billion in revenue and pay nearly $16 billion in wages for 232,000 jobs, according to the agency.
State officials are trying to ease the backlog of unapproved construction projects.
This year, Gov. Jerry Brown (D) exempted the agency from the state hiring freeze, allowing OSHPD to fill positions needed to review hospital plans.
Paul Coleman -- deputy director of the agency's facilities development division -- said OSHPD also has received authorization for 4,000 hours of overtime per month to advance project reviews (Hines, Riverside Press-Enterprise, 8/5).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.