Navigant Report Addresses Pace of Progress at King/Drew Medical Center
Negative media reports, interference from county officials and hesitation by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has slowed progress in fixing various problems at Martin Luther King/Drew Medical Center, according to a report Navigant Consulting presented to the board on Tuesday, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The report by Navigant -- which is working under a one-year, $13.2 million contract signed last fall -- stated that King/Drew is losing more nurses than it can recruit, has a backlog of 1,200 X-rays waiting to be interpreted and has failed to resolve a dispute over competency testing for pharmacy technicians, according to Navigant Director Kae Robertson (Leonard, Los Angeles Times, 7/20).
Navigant in March requested an additional $3.4 million, saying problems were more severe than the company expected. In May, the Board of Supervisors agreed to pay an additional $1.8 million to Navigant. The firm has made hundreds of recommendations, including that King/Drew employees be disciplined for inadequate work habits, lapses in medical care and fraud (California Healthline, 6/15).
Robertson on Tuesday said supervisors have delayed a $64 million proposal to refurbish facilities and have not implemented a recommendation to create a hospital authority to operate the county's medical facilities. She also said Navigant officials are required to spend too much time answering media inquiries and reporting to county supervisors.
Robertson recommended that county supervisors consider options for King/Drew before a meeting next month at which the board is scheduled to discuss outsourcing the facility to a private company, limiting services and disaffiliating with the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine, the Times reports.
At least one county supervisor said Robertson's comments suggested the consulting firm would leave King/Drew once its contract expires in November, according to the Times (Los Angeles Times, 7/20).