Los Angeles County Supervisors Vote to Close Four Public Health Clinics, Transfer Some Services
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday voted to close four public health clinics and transfer some services from High Desert Hospital to Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center, the Long Beach Press-Telegram reports. The four clinics, located in Burbank, Compton, North Hills and Paramount, serve an average of 2,738 patients per month and will close as early as May 1. The closures, as well as the transfer of services, will save the county Department of Health Services an estimated $972,000 per year -- the first step in a plan that the department, which has received $2.2 billion in federal bailout funds over the past six years, released in January to eliminate an estimated $688 million deficit by 2005 (Anderson, Long Beach Press-Telegram, 3/20). County supervisors tentatively approved the plan on Jan. 29 (California Healthline, 1/29). The second part of the plan includes a number of "harsh alternatives" that range from "closing county hospitals and clinics and privatizing the system to keeping some hospitals open" as trauma, emergency room and acute-care facilities, proposals that could reduce services for the county's 3.2 million low-income and uninsured residents (Long Beach Press-Telegram, 3/20). County supervisors plan to consider the proposals this month (California Healthline, 1/30). County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky said, "The old way of doing business -- hoping someone will come and bail us out if we sit and do nothing -- won't do it this time" (Long Beach Press-Telegram, 3/20).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.