County Authorizes $100M for King/Drew Contracts
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday authorized county health officials to use almost $100 million for contracts to facilitate the downsizing of Martin Luther King Jr./Drew University Medical Center, the Los Angeles Times reports (Rosenblatt, Los Angeles Times, 11/29).
King/Drew failed a CMS inspection conducted over the summer, resulting in a loss of eligibility to participate in Medicare at a cost of about $200 million annually, about half the hospital's budget.
The downsize is part of the county's Metrocare plan, which will transfer management of the hospital to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center and change the facility's name from King/Drew to Martin Luther King Jr.-Harbor Hospital (California Healthline, 11/21).
Bruce Chernof, director of the county Department of Health Services, said that King/Drew will use about $85 million to finance 90 private beds for its patients at nearby private hospitals while the facility scales back its size to 42 beds and then expands to 114 beds.
The department also plans to spend:
- $3 million for physicians to admit and monitor patients;
- $1 million for ambulance services; and
- $210,000 to transport patients and families from MLK-Harbor to Harbor-UCLA.
Federal funding to MLK-Harbor was scheduled to end by Nov. 30, but CMS officials last month granted a request by the county to extend funding through March 2007 (California Healthline, 11/21). County officials last week received a letter from the federal government confirming the date when federal funding will end (Los Angeles Times, 11/29). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.