ANCHORAGE, Alaska—Providence Health & Services is seeking a certificate of need from the state of Alaska to enlarge its Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage. The campus modernization project, called Generations, will expand the newborn neonatal intensive-care unit to 66 beds from 47 beds, update the prenatal and maternity-care units, and add a second operating room for cardiac surgery, among other initiatives. The $150.3 million project is slated to begin in January 2011 and be completed in December 2014. About 100,800 square feet of the existing hospital will be remodeled, and an 85,800-square-foot building will be built. A public hearing on the certificate of need proposal was held April 14, and a decision from the state is expected this summer, said officials at not-for-profit Providence Health & Services.
Regionals: Alaska Medical Center expansion to begin in 2011 and more news ...
SACRAMENTO—The California Medical Association withdrew from a physician performance initiative led by Blue Shield of California, saying that it is flawed and could mislead patients. Beginning June 1, the Blue Ribbon Recognition Program will measure the performance of 13,000 high-volume California physicians on quality standards. Physicians with above-average scores in eight measures, including preventive screenings and diabetes, will get a blue ribbon icon added to the online profile on Blue Shield of California's website. The program is not based on cost. AARP, the California Public Employees' Retirement System and the Service Employees International Union are backing the program, which was crafted with the Pacific Business Group on Health. Michael-Anne Browne, Blue Shield of California's medical director for quality, said in a statement that quality data for individual physicians has been lacking. “That changes today,” Browne said, “thanks to a diverse group of stakeholders who worked collaboratively to determine how the data should be collected, tallied and responsibly reported to the public.” But the California Medical Association says the measures do not give a complete picture of a physician's work and use faulty data. “Blue Shield's ratings are defective and Blue Shield is exercising poor judgment to publish them,” Brennan Cassidy, president of the CMA, said in a statement.
PORTLAND, Ore.—Greg Van Pelt will succeed Russ Danielson as CEO of Providence Health & Services of Oregon, effective July 1. Danielson, 55, announced his plans to retire in January. Van Pelt, 58, is currently executive vice president of Providence Health & Services, a health system with 24 hospitals in five Western states. He will continue a leadership role for the overall Renton, Wash.-based system, in addition to his new Oregon duties. Van Pelt has been with not-for-profit Providence for 34 years, serving in a variety of roles including chief executive at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center in Portland, Ore., and for Providence Health Plans. “I have tremendous respect for the leadership provided by Russ Danielson and the entire Oregon team,” Van Pelt said in a statement. “These are the people who will continue to guide us as we work to create the delivery system of the future.
SAN DIEGO—Palomar Pomerado Health has gotten approval from the San Diego City Council to build a health and wellness center in Rancho Penasquitos. In 2004, voters in Rancho Penasquitos, a community in northeast San Diego, approved a $496 million bond measure to expand healthcare services and build new facilities in the health district. Portions of existing buildings will be demolished and others renovated to build an 11,500-square-foot wellness center and a 40,000-square-foot medical office building. Services will include an urgent-care center, primary care, ob/gyn services, maternity classes and wellness and prevention classes. “Receiving the city council's support is a significant step. It allows us to fulfill our commitment to the community,” Michael Covert, president and CEO of Palomar Pomerado Health, said in a statement.
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