Los Angeles County ED Could Close
Centinela Freeman HealthSystem is expected to decide within about a month whether to close the emergency department at its Memorial hospital in Inglewood, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Centinela Freeman officials said they are considering a plan that would shift patients seeking emergency care at the Memorial hospital to the hospital system's Centinela campus about 1.5 miles away. If the plan is approved, the health system would add two new urgent-care centers at Memorial and Centinela with extended hours to increase patients' access to primary and urgent care.
According to a study by the consulting firm Camden Group conducted to determine the impact of the ED closing, nearly two-thirds of ED patients at Memorial and Centinela received treatment for nonemergency and non-life-threatening conditions, hospital system officials said.
Carol Meyer, director of the county Emergency Medical Services Agency, said that nine EDs have closed in recent years in Los Angeles County and that Memorial's would "be the biggest one yet."
Memorial's ED must remain open until mid-December under an agreement between the state attorney general and Tenet Healthcare, which purchased the hospital in 2001 then sold it in 2004 (Ornstein, Los Angeles Times, 8/28).
KPCC's "AirTalk" on Aug. 28 included a discussion of the potential closure. Guests on the program included:
- Irv Edwards, former president of the California Chapter of the American College of Emergency Room Physicians and manager of several EDs in the county;
- Meyer; and
- Michael Rembis, president and CEO of Centinela Freeman HealthSystem (Stoltze, "AirTalk," KPCC, 8/28).
The complete segment is available online in RealPlayer. 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.