DHS To Investigate Reported Issues at King/Drew Medical Center
The Department of Health Services said it will investigate patient care lapses at Martin Luther King Jr./Drew Medical Center cited in a confidential hospital report reviewed by the Los Angeles Times. DHS on Wednesday was informed of the events in the report, including delays in care, medication errors and the neglect of at least one patient, who eventually died.
Most of the errors cited in the report occurred during the last two months, according to the Times.
Los Angeles County Department of Health Services Director Thomas Garthwaite said Navigant Consulting and King/Drew staff prepared the report to show medical department chairpersons and hospital advisers "the importance of vigilance, and to point out areas where we think they can improve their monitoring and oversight" (Ornstein, Los Angeles Times, 10/21).
Garthwaite on Tuesday in a 20-page memo to the county Board of Supervisors said there was a "significant possibility" that King/Drew would not meet minimum standards to retain federal funding, which accounts for more than half of its budget. Garthwaite said that if the hospital loses its federal funding -- which amounts to about $200 million -- he would recommend closing the hospital or transferring administration of it to a private hospital chain.
A CMS inspection will occur in the next two or three months (Ornstein, Los Angeles Times, 10/19).
KPCC's "KPCC News" on Wednesday reported on King/Drew. The segment includes comments from:
- Supervisor Mike Antonovich;
- David Jansen, chief administrative officer for Los Angeles County;
- Kathy Ochoa, health policy analyst for Service Employees International Union Local 660, which represents King/Drew employees; and
- Supervisors Gloria Molina and Zev Yaroslavsky (Rabe, "KPCC News," KPCC, 10/19).