Los Angeles County Mental Health Officials Seek To Revoke City of Angels Medical Center’s Medi-Cal Contract
The Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health has asked the Board of Supervisors to end the county's Medi-Cal mental health contract with City of Angels Medical Center-Ingleside because the hospital allegedly "referred mentally ill patients to unsafe and unsanitary boardinghouses," the Los Angeles Times reports (Ornstein/Briscoe, Los Angeles Times, 10/10). Earlier this year, the department removed City of Angels' and Hollywood Community Hospital's authority to detain and treat mentally ill patients against their will after the facilities discharged five psychiatric patients to an unlicensed boardinghouse, where they subsequently died. County officials said hospital administrators should have known about the unsafe conditions at the boardinghouse, including dirty kitchens and bathrooms, overcrowding and medications stored in the open (California Healthline, 9/10). Lawyers for City of Angels said that if the county revokes its Medi-Cal mental health contract, it "would effectively take away the hospitals' ability to treat indigent psychiatric patients who are covered by Medi-Cal," the Times reports. Such actions "are in total disregard for the needs of the psychiatric patients and ignore the clear fact that these patients will have no other immediate resource for treatment," Jill Curb, a lawyer for the hospital, said in a statement. The Board of Supervisors is scheduled to address the contract termination issue next week. Meanwhile, the county has sent a warning letter to Los Angeles Metropolitan Medical Center for similar violations, the Times reports (Los Angeles Times, 10/10).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.