LA JOLLA, Calif.— Scripps Health has announced a $2 billion 25-year master plan to rebuild Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla. Three hospital towers will replace the existing hospital, and the 43-acre campus will include research and graduate medical education facilities and outpatient treatment and medical offices. Construction on the first 383,000-square-foot tower will begin in June 2011, with an opening date of 2015. Construction costs are estimated at $398 million for the first tower. The expansion will meet state seismic-safety rules and will be financed by operating revenue, borrowing and community support. Scripps has raised $32 million toward a $125 million goal for the first tower. The first tower will house the Scripps Cardiovascular Institute. Scripps recently signed a 10-year agreement with Kaiser Permanente to be the exclusive provider of cardiac surgery and cardiology for Kaiser patients in San Diego County. “The medical care of the future—to be delivered here— incorporates wireless technology, robotic surgery, digital monitoring and recordkeeping, and high-tech operating rooms, in a setting designed for and around the patient,” said Brent Eastman, chief medical officer and corporate senior vice president of Scripps, based in San Diego.
SAN DIEGO— Prime Healthcare Services, Ontario, Calif., has acquired 121-bed Alvarado Hospital in San Diego from a physician-owned company, Plymouth Health, Sherman Oaks, Calif. Terms were not disclosed in Prime’s news release. Alvarado Hospital is Prime’s 13th hospital, all in Southern California. Prime will maintain the services of the hospital and its health plan contracts. In some previous acquisitions, Prime has canceled existing managed-care contracts, although it has moved away from that tactic more recently. Two physician brothers, Pedram and Pejman Salimpour, formed Plymouth in late 2006 to purchase the hospital from Tenet Healthcare Corp., Dallas. Tenet had agreed to sell the hospital as part of a settlement of federal criminal charges related to some of Alvarado’s physician-relocation agreements. The case was tried twice, but both trials ended in mistrials. Tenet realized pretax proceeds of $22.5 million on the sale, which was completed in January 2007. Despite the clinical, operational and financial improvements at Alvarado since then, the business model of a stand-alone hospital is not viable in the current healthcare environment, Pejman Salimpour said, according to Prime’s release.
LOS ANGELES— The Hospital Association of Southern California is establishing a program to transition homeless patients from inpatient care to a recuperative-care setting. In partnership with the National Health Foundation and West Coast University, the association will set up the Los Angeles Recuperative Care Program. The residential program, staffed by medical and social service workers, will be located in mid-city Los Angeles. In addition to serving medical needs, the program will refer patients to housing organizations. West Coast University, a nursing school, is donating $50,000 to launch the program, which is modeled after one in Orange County, Calif. “We are very enthusiastic about the recuperative-care program in Los Angeles,” said Jaime Garcia, regional vice president for the Hospital Association of Southern California, in a statement. “Too often, homeless patients have no alternative other than to remain in an acute-care hospital longer than is necessary,” In recent years, a number of hospitals in the Los Angeles area have settled with the city attorney’s office over dumping homeless patients on Skid Row. In 2008, the city passed an ordinance making it a misdemeanor for health facilities to transport patients to destinations other than their residences without patients’ written consent.
SACRAMENTO, Calif.— California fined 12 hospitals in the state for actions that caused or were likely to cause serious injury or death to patients. This is the 12th time the California Public Health Department has issued patient-care penalties since state law gave it the authority to do so in 2007. Hospitals fined $25,000 each were: Citrus Valley Medical Center in Covina; Hanford (Calif.) Community Medical Center; Kindred Hospital Westminster (Calif.); Placentia (Calif.)-Linda Hospital; and Southwest Healthcare System in Murrieta. Hospitals fined $50,000 each were: Palomar Medical Center in Escondido; Petaluma (Calif.) Valley Hospital; Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla (Calif.); and USC University Hospital in Los Angeles. One hospital—Western Medical Center in Santa Ana—was fined $75,000. Two Bay Area hospitals received two penalties each. California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco was fined a total of $125,000 for not following proper surgical policies in two instances. UCSF Medical Center, San Francisco, was fined a total of $50,000 for failing to follow surgical policies and rules on medication administration, according to the state. The penalty amounts are based on the number of total violations a facility has received and when the violations occurred. In 2009, the penalties rose to as much as $100,000 per violation.
Plans for a rebuilt Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla include three hospital towers.