EDGEMOOR HOSPITAL: Audit Finds County Has Been Misled
A new San Diego County audit released yesterday shows that Edgemoor Hospital "is not always the place of last resort for poor, chronically ill patients" as county supervisors were led to believe, the San Diego Union Tribune reports. Supervisor Ron Roberts said the audit's information "flies in the face of what we've been told." County Supervisor Dianne Jacob said county officials were "under the impression that these patients had nowhere else to go" for care. "I've been lied to and the Board of Supervisors has been lied to," she said. The audit reveals that Edgemoor's admissions policy, "which says patients should be accepted only after they have been rejected 250 times by other skilled nursing facilities, has not been strictly followed. Instead, patients are often in their beds at Edgemoor before the staff call other facilities to see whether they would take these patients," the Union Tribune reports. Further, other nursing facilities insisted that they would admit such patients and could provide them with the same level of care, going "against the widely accepted premise that nursing homes did not want these patients."
The controversy comes at a time when a "so-called Tiger Team of health officials" is weighing options for the future of the dilapidated facility, including moving the residents to other sites or renovating and rebuilding at the same site. "We need full disclosure. I will hold the CAO (chief administrative officer) fully accountable," said Jacob. "On Monday, Karen Hogan, administrator of the county psychiatric hospital whose license is linked with Edgemoor's, was put in charge of Edgemoor." She will be charged with "strengthen[ing] the hospital's admission and discharge policy" (Rother, 7/9).