King/Drew Medical Center May Have To Close All Resident Training Programs
The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education on Wednesday found Martin Luther King Jr./Drew Medical Center's oversight of its medical resident training programs to be "substandard," a "first step" in a process that could force the hospital to close all 18 of its resident training programs, the Los Angeles Times reports. King/Drew officials have several months to appeal ACGME's proposed negative rating, according to the Times. If King/Drew officials' appeals are not successful, it would be the second time in the last three years that the facility has received an unfavorable rating from ACGME. According to ACGME spokesperson Julie Jacob, if the ACGME gives a hospital two unfavorable ratings, the council "will propose administrative withdrawal of accreditation of the institution's programs," which would mean closure of all the hospital's resident training programs. According to the Times, ACGME has never closed all of a hospital's resident training programs (Ornstein/Weber, Los Angeles Times, 10/23). The news comes after ACGME informed King/Drew officials on Friday that the hospital will have to close a general surgery residency program on June 30, 2004. ACGME revoked accreditation for the program after a review found that the program had two more residents than the 38 allowed; ACGME placed the program on probation last year because residents did not receive an adequate amount of surgical experience, faculty research was inadequate and the curriculum did not meet recommended guidelines (California Healthline, 10/14). In addition, four other resident training programs at King/Drew have been placed on probation or received warnings.
According to Dr. David Altman, chief medical officer at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center, the loss of residents at King/Drew, which the facility relies on to provide care for mostly low-income and minority patients, would be "devastating." Assembly member Mervyn Dymally (D-Compton), chair of a special legislative panel on King/Drew, said there is a "great deal of incompetence and mismanagement at the hospital, and it has to be corrected by the county." Assembly member Mark Ridley-Thomas (D-Los Angeles), who also is on the special legislative panel, said that "extraordinary intervention" is needed and called for the University of California-Los Angeles "to take a more active role" in King/Drew operations (Los Angeles Times, 10/23).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.