Plan Offers Strategy To Reopen Shuttered Hospital in South L.A.
Los Angeles County officials have negotiated a deal that will allow Martin Luther King Jr. Hospital to reopen in three years with an emergency department and inpatient services, the Los Angeles Times reports.
In August 2007, the facility's inpatient services were shut down because of failures to provide proper care, including errors connected to patient deaths.
County officials negotiated the hospital plan with the University of California and representatives of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R).
Under the plan, a new not-for-profit entity would operate the hospital, and the entity would be governed jointly by UC and county officials.
The county would cover the expense for the hospital. UC would assume no financial risk for the facility but would be responsible for providing physician services and maintaining the facility's patient care standards.
The plan also stipulates that county Civil Service rules would not apply to the new facility and that the hospital would do all hiring from scratch rather than use current county employees.
The county would administer outpatient services, and staff for those services would be subject to county Civil Services rules.
The proposal to reopen the hospital also would provide 250 medical residency slots, with many of them expected to go to UC students.Â The role of Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science -- the hospital's historical partner -- has not been determined.
Prospects, Next Steps
According to the Times, finding an organization to operate the facility day-to-day is the main obstacle to the plan.
The plan is subject to approval by the county board of supervisors and the UC Board of Regents.Â The state Legislature also would have to modify some funding provisions (Therolf, Los Angeles Times, 3/12).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.