East Los Angeles Hospital May Close; Emergency Department Closed Monday
A hearing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court on Friday could determine whether a court-appointed trustee will close Elastar Community Hospital in East Los Angeles immediately or keep it open during a search for a buyer, the Los Angeles Times reports. Elastar on Monday closed its emergency department. The hospital treated about 13,000 patients in its ED each year, according to the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development Department. Those patients likely will seek treatment at White Memorial Medical Center in Boyle Heights or East Los Angeles Doctors Hospital, the Times reports.
The 110-bed hospital, formerly named Santa Marta Hospital, has operated for about 90 years. Two health care professionals purchased the hospital in 2002 and subsequently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in fall 2003.
As of Thursday, the hospital had about 25 patients, according to Starlette Abad, director of business development at the facility. Abad said that most hospital personnel had left the facility.
Carol Meyer, director of the Los Angeles County Emergency Medical Services Agency, said the closure of Elastar's ED would affect local residents' access to care. "What's going to be significant is the waiting times when you get to the other hospitals that are even busier now because of the volume of people displaced," Meyer said.
Records filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court indicated that last Friday the hospital was placed under the guidance of trustee Brad Krasnoff, according to the Times. Krasnoff could not be reached for comment (Hymon, Los Angeles Times, 8/13).