Los Angeles Times Urges State To Oversee Hospitals’ Finances
As California counties consider privatizing public hospitals and trauma centers, a Los Angeles Times editorial cautions officials to "pause" before making decisions and consider two recent studies, one by the California Medical Association and another by the Service Employees International Union. The CMA report notes that emergency departments and trauma centers, and the physicians who staff them, lost more than $416 million in 1998-99, and calls on Gov. Gray Davis (D) to use unspent federal CHIP funds to "ease the financial burden on counties caring for the indigent." The CMA also is using the report to "rally support" for a bill (SB 2132) introduced last session that would appropriate $200 million annually to "struggling" hospitals and $100 million to doctors who care for the uninsured. The SEIU report "details an erosion of access to health care in the state" and calls for "vigorous state leadership" that closely audits not-for-profit hospitals. The Times concludes that hospitals "deserve the sort of funding" proposed by the CMA and the "sharper oversight" advocated in the SEIU report (Los Angeles Times, 1/22). The CMA report is available online at http://www.cmanet.org/publicdoc.cfm/411/207/PRESS/178.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.