LONG BEACH: City May Attempt to Save Medical Center
Long Beach officials may assume temporary control of the Long Beach Community Medical Center in a "last-ditch" effort to save the financially ailing facility from its planned closure this fall, the Los Angeles Times reports. Catholic Healthcare West of Southern California announced last month it would shut down the not-for-profit hospital because it could no longer absorb the facility's annual $12 million in losses, but Long Beach residents and CMC doctors have challenged the closure plan. The "Save Our Neighborhood Hospital" coalition wants CHW to keep the medical center open until a new buyer is found; however, CHW maintained that it will not operate the 278-bed facility beyond Oct. 2. Instead, CHW CEO Beth O'Brien yesterday offered a compromise plan to transfer property in and around the hospital to the city and to "temporarily suspend -- rather than irrevocably surrender to the state -- its license to operate." Long Beach Mayor Beverly O'Neill and City Manager Henry Taboada said the plan could give the hospital's supporters the time they need to find new investors and operators, but City Council member Frank Colonna urged the coalition to "move fast" (Mathews, 7/20).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.