SAN DIMAS: Sixth Area Hospital Requiring Cash-On-Demand Epidurals
A statewide investigation revealed that San Dimas Community Hospital is the sixth Los Angeles area hospital that required "poor women in labor to pay cash for epidural anesthesia during childbirth," the Los Angeles Times reports. The Tuesday announcement stemmed from a state probe into the hospital's procedures after patients complained that anesthesiologists provided Medi-Cal patients with epidurals only after payment was received. According to Jean Olander, health facilities manager for Los Angeles County, the practice continued at San Dimas until June. San Dimas CEO Patrick Petre admitted that some women in labor had experienced a "delay in service" at the facility, but he emphasized that his hospital is committed to change. "The important thing is what happens in the future and I think any hospital still allowing this to happen is very foolish," Petre said. "Outrage" over similar occurrences at Whittier Hospital Medical Center, Providence Holy Cross Hospital in Mission Hills, Queen of Angels-Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center and Pomona Valley Hospital led state Assemblyman Martin Gallegos (D-Baldwin Park) to sponsor a bill (AB 1397) to ban the practice. Although the bill was passed by the state Legislature last month, Gov. Pete Wilson "has not yet taken a position" on the measure (Ramirez, 9/9).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.