News Headlines

News Headlines
Health care news from around the state and nation

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Mercury News editorial: Increase Medi-Cal rates to salvage health care reform
The Mercury News

Gov. Jerry Brown dropped the ball on Medi-Cal reimbursement rates, including only a minimal increase in his proposed budget for next year. If the Legislature doesn’t step in, then the promise of health insurance to millions of Californians on Medi-Cal will be a cruel joke: Insurance does no good if you can’t find a doctor who’ll see you.

The Legislature needs to pass AB 366, which at least would restore cuts to reimbursements made in recent years. It’s what we hoped the governor would propose, and it should be just a down payment on a plan to bring California’s high-cost compensation levels — now among the lowest in the nation — to at least around the median.

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Big money for medical-records system
The Press-Enterprise

Riverside County officials want to spend as much as $53.1 million over the next three years on a new electronic records system for the county hospital, a move they say will improve patient care through better coordination with other Inland medical centers. The county Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, June 2, will be asked to approve a preliminary budget and an agreement with Loma Linda University Health to share Loma Linda’s Epic medical records system. Epic, which has corporate headquarters in Wisconsin, provides records software for hospitals nationwide.

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State clamps down on water use by hospitals, nursing homes
Sacramento Business Journal

The drought hammer fell on hospitals and nursing homes Friday, but it landed on landscaping, not internal water use. New emergency regulations approved by the California Building Standards Commission limit potable water use for outdoor irrigation. The new measures, announced Monday by the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development, clarify that enforcement of mandatory reductions of potable water use for exterior landscape irrigation for non-residential buildings applies to hospitals and skilled nursing facilities.

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Dignity Health plans $70M expansion in Folsom
Sacramento Business Journal

Dignity Health is planning a $70 million expansion plan for Mercy Hospital of Folsom.

The project will include a three-story inpatient tower and new medical office building, Dignity Health’s regional president Laurie Harting said in an interview last week.

While San Francisco-based Dignity Health created buzz last week when it announced a $10 million land donation in Lincoln from the Tsakopoulos family, the Folsom project will be the first new expansion in the region, Harting said. The health system will take some time to decide what do in Lincoln.

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Surgeon hired to boost organ donations
Sacramento Business Journal

In an unusual move, the parent company to Sierra Donor Services has hired a surgeon to boost the donation side of the business. Dr. Burnett “Beau” Kelly is the new surgical director for Dialysis Clinic Inc., a Nashville company that operates tissue-bank and organ-procurement organizations in California, New Mexico and Tennessee. Sierra Donor Services is a Sacramento-based subsidiary, and that’s where Kelly is based.

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Children’s Hospital Opens Valley Center
San Fernando Valley Business Journal

Children’s Hospital Los Angeles opened its first outpatient clinic in the San Fernando Valley on Monday.

The 5363 Balboa Blvd. center in Encino spans 3,000 square feet and has seven exam rooms staffed by doctors from the Hollywood non-profit hospital.

It also will serve children from the Conejo Valley and nearby parts of Los Angeles, including Bel-Air, Brentwood and Pacific Palisades, said Robert Adler, chief medical officer at the hospital’s Pediatric Network.

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Jerold Phelps Community Hospital goes online
KRCR

The Jerold Phelps Community Hospital in Garberville is changing over from paper charts to electronic medical records. Use of the new system, called Centriq from Healthland, will begin on Tuesday morning at 7a.m.

Sarah Beach, the Director of Nursing, said staff is ready for the change.

“Everything will be in the chart for us. We won’t have to run and go look for a paper chart to look for allergies or medications,” Beach said. “We won’t have to take the time to re-write everything down; we’ll have everything at our fingertips.”

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Palm Drive Health Care District looks to recast its role
Santa Barbara Independent

Palm Drive Health Care District, which for years focused on keeping a troubled Sebastopol hospital alive, is seeking to recast its role in west Sonoma County.

The district is hoping to broaden its mission beyond its traditional responsibility of running a hospital with an additional focus on prevention and wellness through partnerships with providers such as the West County Health Centers.

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Stanford Children’s Health CEO Joins Solutions for Patient Safety Board of Directors
Digital Journal

Christopher G. Dawes, president and chief executive officer of Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford and Stanford Children’s Health, has been appointed to the board of directors for the Solutions for Patient Safety (SPS) project.

This Smart News Release features multimedia. View the full release here.

SPS is a network of more than 80 children’s hospitals in the United States working together to share safety successes and failures to better achieve the goal of creating a universally safe and healing environment for children in need of medical care.

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Hospital enters affiliation talks
The Press-Enterprise

After debating its future for at least 18 months, the Board of San Gorgonio Memorial Hospital in Banning has agreed to enter into exclusive affiliation discussions with Loma Linda University Health and Adventist Health. If a deal is reached, the affiliation is expected to bring an infusion of cash to help the hospital expand. San Gorgonio considered a similar agreement with Loma Linda in November 2013, but the Banning hospital’s legal counsel suggested a broader search, which ultimately led back to Loma Linda.

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