LONG BEACH: Hospital Shuts Down Abruptly, Buyout Cited
Long Beach Doctors Hospital "was abruptly closed" yesterday, following an administrator's statement that "the hospital had been sold Monday evening to Long Beach Health Management Inc., the management group that has been running" the facility since March. The Long Beach Press-Telegram reports that patients in the 46-bed acute-care facility were "hurriedly discharged or transferred," while the 120 hospital employees "were told they no longer had jobs" or health insurance and that "the new owners would not pay them for the past two weeks." At a staff meeting yesterday, a hospital administrator told staffers "the hospital had lost its license." The hospital could not be reached for comment.
Accreditation Problems To Blame?
The Press-Telegram reports that a preliminary inspection by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations "recommend[ed] that the hospital be denied accreditation." Following the June 16-18 inspection, JCAHO cited the hospital for fire code violations and problems with staff assessment, patient information management and medical staff rules. However, the Press-Telegram notes that "[i]t is not known whether the decision to close the hospital was connected with the commission's report." Officials at the Los Angeles Department of Health Services Health Facilities Division, the department that oversees the hospital's license, could not be reached for comment (Chaney, 6/24).