County Proposal Calls for Redistribution of Patient Beds
A proposal outlining the reduction of clinical services at Martin Luther King Jr./Drew Medical Center and the transfer of management to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center will be presented to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, the Los Angeles Times reports. The county Department of Health Services by Nov. 1 will seek federal approval of the plan, called MetroCare.
According to the Times, patients at King/Drew would be temporarily redistributed among county and private hospitals as the facility undergoes the transition (Rosenblatt, Los Angeles Times, 10/17).
The plan, designed to retain the failed hospital's federal funding, calls for:
- Transferring obstetrics, pediatrics, ophthalmology, and brain and heart surgery to Harbor;
- Continuing operation of a women's health clinic at King/Drew;
- Maintaining a 24-hour urgent care clinic at King/Drew;
- Contracting with physicians to staff the emergency department; and
- Reducing the number of beds from about 252 to 42, although the number would eventually increase to about 114 (California Healthline, 10/3).
Preliminary estimates show that enacting the MetroCare plan would cost about $500 million in the next fiscal year, including the cost of transferring services to other county facilities. For the same time period, a $450 million budget had been projected for King/Drew (Los Angeles Times, 10/17). 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.