Local Leaders Call for More Health Clinics in Los Angeles County
On Thursday, a panel of government and hospital officials called on Los Angeles County to open more community health clinics to address emergency department overcrowding, the Long Beach Press-Telegram reports.
David Sommers, a spokesperson for Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe, said that ED visits in the county cost $1,200 on average and that patients often could be treated more efficiently in other settings.
Diana Hendel, COO of Long Beach Memorial Medical Center, advocated exploring the possibility of opening clinics through public-private partnerships.Â
According to the Press-Telegram, 11 hospital EDs have closed in Los Angeles County in the past five years, in part because of low reimbursements from Medicare and Medi-Cal, California's Medicaid program.ÂPanelists also discussed other challenges facing hospitals, including compliance with a state seismic safety rule by 2013 (Eakins, Long Beach Press-Telegram, 12/4). 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.