LOS ANGELES COUNTY: Approves Budget without Hospital Provision
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors took less than an hour Monday to pass its $15 billion budget for the coming fiscal year after a potential controversy about care for indigent patients was avoided, the Los Angeles Times reports. Chief Administrative Officer David Janssen backed down for now from "his highly criticized plan to cap the number of indigent patients county hospitals accept from private facilities." Private hospitals had complained that the plan "would have left them with too many uninsured patients to treat, triggering a collapse of the county's emergency rooms." Janssen said, "We are persuaded by their considerations that we should not rush into this recommendation, but we need to take a good deal of time to take a look at it." Supervisors also "touched upon the one lingering problem in the budget" -- the continuing fiscal problems of the county health department, which continues to suffer as private hospitals draw away Medi-Cal patients, leaving the county "with a rising number of uninsured patients, who bring no revenue." Supervisor Yvonne Brathwaite Burke cautioned, "We are going to have to have some kind of funds to offset this burden. We cannot provide for all the indigent and get no Medi-Cal" (Riccardi, 6/22).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.