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Modern Healthcare - - Regional News -

SAN FRAN­CISCO— Hos­pi­tals in Cal­i­for­nia will now be re­quired to re­port sur­gi­cal-site in­fec­tion rates associated with 26 pro­ce­dures af­ter a San Fran­cisco judge up­held re­port­ing re­quire­ments out­lined by the state’s pub­lic health depart­ment in April. Un­der the re­quire­ments, hos­pi­tals must sub­mit in­fec­tion re­ports to the Cen­ters for Disease Con­trol and Preven­tion’s Na­tional Health­care Safety Net­work, a se­cure on­line sur­veil­lance sys­tem for track­ing in­fec­tions. The list of op­er­a­tive pro­ce­dures, which in­cludes ap­pen­dix surgery, kid­ney trans­plant and tho­racic surgery, was sent to hos­pi­tals in an April 27 letter from the Cal­i­for­nia Depart­ment of Pub­lic Health. State of­fi­cials con­tend that the list of spe­cific pro­ce­dures was in keep­ing with a 2008 law that re­quired hos­pi­tals to re­port in­fec­tion rates associated with car­diac, gas­troin­testi­nal and or­tho­pe­dic surg­eries, as well as op­er­a­tions within an or­gan or deep in­side the body. The law re­quires the state to be­gin mak­ing such in­fec­tion data avail­able to the pub­lic be­gin­ning in Jan­uary 2012. But the Cal­i­for­nia Hos­pi­tal As­so­ci­a­tion filed a law­suit in May, ar­gu­ing the new, more de­tailed re­quire­ments were out­side of the pa­ram­e­ters of the 2008 law and would be bur­den­some for hos­pi­tals. San Fran­cisco Su­pe­rior Court Judge Peter Busch de­nied the as­so­ci­a­tion’s re­quest for an in­junc­tion. He also ruled that three of the surg­eries on the depart­ment’s list—spinal fu­sion, ce­sarean sec­tion and pace­maker surgery—may not be in­cluded for re­port­ing, pend­ing fur­ther re­view. Fi­nally, he blocked an ad­di­tional re­quire­ment that would have re­quired hos­pi­tals to sub­mit in­fec­tion data monthly in­stead of quar­terly.

HONOLULU— Hawaii Med­i­cal Cen­ter has filed for bank­ruptcy again, trans­fer­ring the two Oahu hos­pi­tals it op­er­ates back to the pre­vi­ous owner. The com­pany an­nounced last month that it filed for Chap­ter 11 bank­ruptcy and sub­mit­ted its re­or­ga­ni­za­tion plan to the U.S. Bank­ruptcy Court in Honolulu. The pre­vi­ous bank­ruptcy pro­tec­tion fil­ing was in Au­gust 2008 af­ter buy­ing the Lil­iha and Ewa hos­pi­tals from St. Fran­cis Health­care Sys­tem of Hawaii for nearly $68 mil­lion in Jan­uary 2007. “Ul­ti­mately, it came down to sim­ply not hav­ing suf­fi­cient cap­i­tal for HMC to turn the cor­ner,” said Dr. Collin Dang, chair­man of the board of direc­tors. “In or­der to in­crease pa­tient cen­sus and keep pace with new gov­ern­ment re­quire­ments, we needed to make in­fra­struc­ture im­prove­ments. Not be­ing part of a larger health­care sys­tem makes it dif­fi­cult for us to con­tinue as a stand-alone op­er­a­tion.” St. Fran­cis has agreed to ex­change the $40 mil­lion debt for the hos­pi­tals’ as­sets. “St. Fran­cis is pre­pared to step for­ward to re­sume own­er­ship of the hos­pi­tals,” said Jerry Cor­rea, St. Fran­cis Health­care Sys­tem’s chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer. “St. Fran­cis fully sup­ports HMC’s re­or­ga­ni­za­tion plan and is fo­cused on mak­ing this tran­si­tion as seam­less as pos­si­ble for the com­mu­nity.” The re­or­ga­ni­za­tion plan needs U.S. Bank­ruptcy Court ap­proval.

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