Los Angeles County DHS Announces Plan To Hire Interim King/Drew Medical Center CEO
Los Angeles County Department of Health Services Director Thomas Garthwaite on Thursday sent the county Board of Supervisors a memo, stating his intent to hire "a turnaround consultant to fix the many problems" at Martin Luther King Jr./Drew Medical Center, the Los Angeles Times reports. The consultant -- Anthony Jones, who has a 15-year record of turning around hospitals with problems -- and his employer, Southfield, Mich.-based Superior Consulting, will be paid $466,800 for Jones to serve as King/Drew's interim CEO. Garthwaite said that the decision to hire an interim CEO was made because the "hospital's problems were so pressing that they might deter anyone from applying for a job as a permanent CEO," the Times reports. According to the Times, the board is not expected to oppose the decision. The county DHS took over management of the hospital in October. According to the Times, the hospital has "been in turmoil for much of the last year" (Hymon, Los Angeles Times, 4/9). Last month, CMS announced that it would not immediately revoke the hospital's certification to participate in Medicare after telling hospital officials that the hospital had until March 23 to change the way it administers drugs to patients in order to retain the $200 million per year it receives from Medicare and Medi-Cal. The county also has fired five top officials at the hospital (California Healthline, 3/29).
Jones, who will likely start in May, said that he still has to work out some job requirements with the county, including whether he will have the authority to fire employees. According to the Times, Jones said that "his early impressions of the hospital is that quality of patient care remains the most significant concern" and added that "there are some leadership issues." Supervisor Yvonne Brathwaite Burke said that Jones would have to follow county regulations concerning firing, which allow workers the opportunity to appeal. She added that "if a person is not doing their job or they do not have qualifications, [Jones] is in position to transfer them, and he can put it in the personnel file" (Los Angeles Times, 4/9).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.