Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Approves Recommendations for King/Drew Reform
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved recommendations by Dr. Thomas Garthwaite, director of the county Department of Health Services, to consolidate or restructure clinical services at Martin Luther King Jr./Drew Medical Center and give the medical center more flexibility to pay nurses at competitive rates, the Los Angeles Times reports (Landsberg/Briscoe, Los Angeles Times, 1/14). Last Friday, the medical school placed President Dr. Charles Francis on paid administrative leave, following a task force report stating that he had lost the confidence of many members of the hospital's board, faculty and surrounding community. The task force report also said that it is not possible to sustain the school's 18 residency training programs at King/Drew given its average of 200 inpatients; recommended a cooperative medical residency program with a larger, more prestigious institution; called for the school to establish a "culture of accountability"; and recommended a leadership transition at the school. The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education last month recommended closing King/Drew's neonatal residency program. ACGME previously found King/Drew's oversight of its medical resident training programs to be substandard and decided to revoke accreditation for the facility's surgery and radiology residency programs, effective June 2004 (California Healthline, 1/12).
The supervisors also accepted Garthwaite's suggestion that the county end its current contract with Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science or revise the contract to demand reform of physician training programs at King/Drew. The board agreed to wait 60 days before threatening to cancel the contract if Drew's board of directors did not begin to reform itself and the programs (Los Angeles Times, 1/14).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.