County Officials Concerned About Emergency Services
Hospital officials in Los Angeles County are voicing concerns about effects on emergency department services, citing the closure of Centinela Memorial Hospital's ED in Inglewood and a proposal to restructure Martin Luther King Jr./Drew University Medical Center in south Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Times reports (Engel, Los Angeles Times, 10/15).
Centinela Memorial officials in September announced that the hospital planned to close its ED and divert patients to nearby Centinela Hospital, which also is owned by Centinela Freeman HealthSystem (California Healthline, 10/13).
CMS in September informed King/Drew administrators that the hospital had failed an inspection and would lose eligibility for federal funding. King/Drew is a public facility (California Healthline, 10/3). The county's proposal to restructure King/Drew calls for maintaining ED services, but the plan is subject to federal approval.
Carol Meyer, director of the county Emergency Medical Services Agency, said that "85,000 patients -- 232 patients a day -- would have to go someplace else" if the EDs at both Centinela Memorial and King/Drew closed.
According to the Times, residents of south Los Angeles are particularly concerned about a possible closure of King/Drew's ED because two of the nine private hospitals in Los Angeles County that have closed their EDs in the past five years have been located in the area (Los Angeles Times, 10/15).