L.A. County Seeks Operators for King-Harbor Hospital
On Tuesday, Los Angeles County's health director told county supervisors that officials are drafting plans to reassume control of Martin Luther King Jr.-Harbor Hospital in Willowbrook if a deal does not materialize with a private operator to reopen the hospital, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Bruce Chernof, county health chief, said that seven organizations have expressed interest in reopening King-Harbor, a county-run facility that closed in August after it failed a federal inspection. However, Chernof noted, many of the large hospital systems in California were not interested.
Chernof said that a private operator "will give the hospital the best opportunity to take a big step forward and start anew."
Formal proposals for operating the facility are due on Monday.
If the county reassumes control, it is unclear whether the facility would be an independent hospital or part of another county hospital.
Meanwhile, health advocates asked supervisors to include the community in the effort to reopen King-Harbor.
Since the hospital's emergency department closed, visits to an urgent care center at the hospital continue to increase (Rosenblatt, Los Angeles Times, 10/31).
"We do not trust the county to run [King-Harbor], and we will oppose, as anyone should, any recommendation that would involve the county in its future management," a Times editorial states. "But we will insist, and others should as well, that the county find alternative ways to care for a population whose needs are so profound" (Los Angeles Times, 10/31).
KPCC's "KPCC News" on Tuesday reported on the hearing. The segment includes comments from:
- Supervisor Yvonne Brathwaite Burke; and
- Robert Ross, president of the California Endowment (Nazario, "KPCC News," KPCC, 10/30).
Audio of the segment is available online.
In other hospital news, KCRW's "Which Way, L.A.?" on Tuesday included a discussion on efforts to expand hospital services in Los Angeles County. Guests on the program included:
- Wayde Hunter, president of the North Valley Coaltion of Concerned Citizens; and
- Kelly Kurcz, director of emergency services at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center (Olney, "Which Way, L.A.?," KCRW, 10/30).
Audio of the segment is available online. 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.