Health Care Issues Emerge for County Supervisors
Kern, Los Angeles and San Joaquin counties this week moved on health care-related efforts. Summaries appear below.
Kern County supervisors on Tuesday approved a request from the Department of Emergency Medical Services to conduct background checks for applicants seeking emergency medical technician certificates, the Bakersfield Californian reports.
The county's current system only requires applicants to sign a statement certifying that they were not convicted criminals and also to prove that they have necessary training.
However, a report in February found lapses in the system, which had awarded certificates to convicted sex offenders and identity thieves (Burger, Bakersfield Californian, 5/15).
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday held an emergency closed meeting to discuss the death last week of a woman at Martin Luther King Jr.-Harbor Hospital, the Los Angeles Times reports (Rosenblatt, Los Angeles Times, 5/16).
The patient's family alleges that hospital staff neglected her requests for medical attention in the emergency department.
The county's chief administrative office has taken over the investigation from the office of public safety and the county Department of Health Services, which runs the hospital. The patient died in the custody of Los Angeles County police, who were transporting her from the hospital to jail because of an alleged parole violation.
Sharon Harper, chief deputy in the chief administrative office, said officials are investigating why the patient did not receive medical care (Ornstein, Los Angeles Times, 5/15).
San Joaquin County officials on Tuesday ordered a study to determine whether a half-cent sales-tax increase could alleviate budget woes at San Joaquin General Hospital, the Stockton Record reports.
The hospital by July is expected to face an $18 million budget deficit, largely because of an unexpected decline in patient numbers since last year. In recent months the hospital has treated an average of 30 to 40 fewer inpatients daily than last year, according to officials.
Some county officials attribute the shortage to private hospitals accepting more patients because of new Medi-Cal regulations (Kane, Stockton Record, 5/16).