California Hospital News Roundup for the Week of April 20, 2012

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San Leandro Hospital

The state Supreme Court has denied a petition to review an appeals court decision allowing Sutter Health to purchase San Leandro Hospital, the  San Jose Mercury News reports. 

Sutter said the hospital is losing money, and it intends to close San Leandro’s emergency department and convert the facility into an acute rehabilitation center that provides more long-term care.

Critics say area residents would have to travel out of town during medical emergencies under Sutter's plan.

Eden Township Healthcare District Board members are expected to discuss the hospital's future in the wake of the state Supreme Court decision (Dennis, San Jose Mercury News, 4/17).

San Ramon Regional Medical Center

San Ramon Regional Medical Center -- a Tenet Healthcare hospital -- recently opened a new imaging center in Pleasanton, the San Francisco Business Times reports.

The new center is an expanded version of the former Insight Imaging Pleasanton facility, which the hospital bought in 2010.

Angie Colbert -- senior director of Diagnostic Imaging Group Outpatient Services at Tenet -- said San Ramon Regional more than doubled the imaging center's size from 2,500 square feet to 6,000 square feet and increased the staff from three to eight workers.

In addition, she said the medical center added new equipment and a new X-ray room to the facility (Rauber, San Francisco Business Times, 4/13).

St. John's Pleasant Valley Hospital, Camarillo; St. John's Regional Medical Center, Oxnard

Members of Service Employees International Union Local 121RN and SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West are planning to picket two Dignity Health hospitals on April 24, the Ventura County Star reports. The union groups plan to picket at St. John's Pleasant Valley Hospital in Camarillo and St. John's Regional Medical Center in Oxnard.

Chris Slane -- an SEIU representative -- said that contract negotiations with Dignity Health have been going "poorly."

Union members do not support a proposal that would allow Dignity Health to hire health care workers on a permanent contract basis. Currently, the health system hires only temporary contract workers.

Dignity Health says the proposal would give the hospital more flexibility (Gregory, Ventura County Star, 4/16).

St. Rose Hospital, Hayward

On Wednesday, the Alameda County Board of Supervisors approved a joint-powers agreement that would establish the St. Rose Transitional Authority to assist in the operation of St. Rose Hospital, San Leandro Patch reports.

According to the agreement between the county and Washington Township Healthcare District, the Authority would administer and control funding that could be obtained to assist in the operation of the hospital. The agreement might be followed by another deal that would allow Washington Township to manage or acquire St. Rose or its assets.

County Supervisor Nadia Lockyer said that the agreement helps create "a path of long-term stability that will help keep the doors of the hospital open" (San Leandro Patch, 4/18).


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