Daily roundup: March 1, 2012

Bite-sized hospital and health industry news

Topics: Around the Nation

March 1, 2012

  • California: Kaiser Permanente has announced that it will seek to reduce its overall greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2020, compared with 2008 levels. The announcement follows recent actions by the health organization to install solar generators on the roofs of 11 of its California hospitals. In 2008, Kaiser emitted 819,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases, which increased to 837,000 metric tons in 2010. Kaiser aims to decrease its emissions by about 264,000 metric tons annually. The health care provider plans to achieve its goal by investing in renewable and clean energy sources and focusing on strategies to conserve energy (Sibley, Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal, 2/28; Rauber, San Francisco Business Times, 2/28).
  • Illinois: A tornado on Wednesday cut a path near Harrisburg Medical Center, ripping the walls and windows from several patient rooms. The north side of the hospital remained intact, however, allowing staff to continue providing emergency care to patients. Hospital administrators later evacuated patients to nearby medical centers. According to WSIL-TV, the building possibly sustained millions of dollars in damage, which could take weeks to repair (Barr, Modern Healthcare, 2/29 [subscription required]; Tyrpak, WSIL-TV, 2/29).

  • Massachusetts: Cooley Dickinson Hospital trustees have agreed to negotiate a merger with Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). The deal would make the 140-bed Northampton hospital an MGH subsidiary and would allow many of its patients to receive specialized treatment in Boston (Weisman, Boston Globe, 2/29).
  • New Jersey: New Jersey towns and counties who opt not to join the State Health Benefits Program—New Jersey's health insurance pool for government workers—are giving up more than $100 million in annual savings, according to a report by the New Jersey Office of the State Comptroller. Currently, only seven of the state's 21 counties and about two-thirds of its 566 municipalities participate in the program (Osborne, Philadelphia Inquirer, 2/29).

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