California Hospital News Roundup for the Week of December 14, 2012

TOPIC ALERT:

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center has become one of the first hospitals in the U.S. and the first in Los Angeles County to receive Comprehensive Stroke Center Certification from the Joint Commission and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.

The certification designates hospitals that have the equipment, infrastructure, training programs and staff needed to treat challenging stroke cases (Cedars-Sinai release, 12/7).

Children's Hospital & Research Center Oakland

Children's Hospital & Research Center Oakland has received $5 million from Kaiser Permanente to help rebuild its facilities, the San Francisco Business Times reports.

Earlier this year, the hospital said that it is planning a $450 million project to rebuild its existing facility (Brown, San Francisco Business Times, 12/11).

Kaiser Permanente Vallejo Medical Center

On Dec. 19, nurses at the Kaiser Permanente Vallejo Medical Center will join nurses at 20 other Kaiser facilities to protest staffing levels and other issues, the Vallejo Times-Herald reports.

Gay Westfall -- senior vice president of Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and Health Plans Northern California -- said, "Our nurse staffing levels comply with, and sometimes exceed, state-mandated staffing requirements at our hospitals" (Raskin-Zrihen, Vallejo Times-Herald, 12/11).

Stanford Hospital & Clinics, Palo Alto

Last week, Stanford Hospital & Clinics celebrated the completion of a $50 million renovation of its Hoover Pavilion, which is set to re-open Dec. 17, the San Francisco Business Times reports.

The renovated facility will house several clinics, such as the Stanford Center for Integrative Medicine, Stanford Family Medicine and Stanford Senior Care (Rauber, San Francisco Business Times, 12/6).

Tri-City Medical Center, Oceanside

Beginning in early 2013, Tri-City Medical Center will begin remotely monitoring discharged patients in an effort to reduce readmissions, Payers & Providers reports.

The facility will use a QualComm platform to monitor patients' vital signs after their discharge.

Health care providers, patients and their families will be able to monitor biometric data through a cloud-based application (Payers & Providers, 12/6).

UC-Davis Medical Center, Sacramento

Recently, CMS investigators said that UC-Davis Medical Center "lacks the capacity to render adequate care to patients" following an investigation of three experimental surgeries, the Sacramento Bee reports (Lundstrom, Sacramento Bee, 12/8).

J. Paul Muizelaar and Rudolph Schrot, two former members of the UC-Davis neurological surgery department, were banned from the university last year after an investigation determined that they had conducted experimental treatments on three dying brain cancer patients without federal or university approval (California Healthline, 11/16).

According to CMS, the hospital repeatedly failed to block the surgeons' actions. The agency added that the surgeons may have been responsible for "contributing to or causing the death of at least one patient" (Sacramento Bee, 12/8).

The hospital has submitted to CMS a plan for correcting certain issues identified by investigators (Robertson, Sacramento Business Journal, 12/7).

However, UC-Davis officials rejected some of CMS' findings, saying that they are incorrect in some cases and that the facility already has taken steps to correct certain problems (Sacramento Bee, 12/8).

UC-San Diego

On Wednesday, UC-San Diego announced that it will cease patient care services at the Nevada Cancer Institute, U-T San Diego reports.

According to UCSD, 75 employees have received layoff notices and 350 patients receiving cancer treatment at the facility will have to seek care elsewhere.

Officials said that the decision was made because of cost concerns.

The university purchased the facility 10 months ago to expand clinical trials and patient recruitment efforts in the Las Vegas region (Sisson, U-T San Diego, 12/12).

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