Downsizing Costs for King/Drew Move Higher
Los Angeles County health officials on Monday increased by 25% the estimated cost of downsizing services at Martin Luther King Jr./Drew University Medical Center, the Los Angeles Times reports. The increase would occur over three years and would raise the county's cost for the project from $65 million to $81 million (Rosenblatt, Los Angeles Times, 11/7).
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.
Federal funding 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, 11/7).
Bruce Chernof, director of the county Department of Health Services, attributed the increase in transition costs to the cost of transferring hospital employees to other county positions.
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.
King/Drew also will transfer specialty services to Harbor-UCLA by the end of November, including:
- Neonatal intensive care;
- Pediatric intensive care; and
- High-risk obstetric services.
County officials expect to complete the transition by March 2007 (California Healthline, 11/7). 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.