L.A. County Hospital Could Lose CMS Funding for Lapses in Care
Overcrowding and treatment delays in the emergency department at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center are placing patients in "immediate jeopardy," according to state inspectors, the Los Angeles Times reports. The hospital is expected to receive a citation that could put its federal funding at risk if it does not create a plan of correction.
State officials, working on behalf of CMS, launched an inspection of Harbor-UCLA last week following the death of a patient. The patient left the ED before treatment was finished and without the knowledge of ED workers. According to the county coroner's office, the death was accidental and the patient had diabetes and end-stage renal disease.
Bruce Chernof, Los Angeles County's health services director, said the county is working on submitting a corrective action plan to the inspectors.
The expected citation is the most recent in a series of patient care violations at EDs in the county and would further impair its ED system, according to the Times.
In August 2007, the county was forced to close most of Martin Luther King Jr.-Harbor Hospital in Willowbrook after it lost its federal funding due to poor patient care.
Federal officials also threatened to revoke funding from Olive View-UCLA Medical Center in Sylmar due to care violations (Lin II, Los Angeles Times, 2/6).