County Health Department Releases Deficit Reduction Plan
The Los Angeles County Department of Health Services on Wednesday released a plan to reduce its projected $1.4-billion fiscal year 2009-2010 budget deficit to $555 million, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.
The plan, developed by acting county DHS Director and Chief Medical Officer Bruce Chernof, would address the department's current $300-million annual shortfall using money from the county general fund, revenue from a proposed tobacco-tax measure on the November ballot and $47 million from an increase in Medi-Cal managed care rates.
The plan also would address the deficit by:
- Standardizing care and charging the same price for medical procedures at all five county hospitals;
- Reducing hospitalization by 10%;
- Hiring more permanent nurses;
- Eliminating the use of some prescription drugs and designating others as preferred treatments; and
- Prescribing the least costly drug when two or more have the same results.