State, County Officials Investigate Closure of Emergency Department, Acute Care Facility at Duarte Hospital
Los Angeles County and state health officials are investigating the "abrupt" closure of Santa Teresita Hospital's acute care facility and emergency room, officials announced on Wednesday, the Pasadena Star-News reports (Allen, Pasadena Star-News, 1/15). The Duarte hospital on Jan. 9 closed its emergency room and acute care facility in part because of the state's nursing shortage. The hospital's outpatient surgery center, fertility clinic and 177-bed skilled nursing facility remain open (California Healthline, 1/9). Russie Roman, health deputy for county Supervisor Michael Antonovich, said that state and county officials were concerned by the closure, in part because of a state law that requires health care facilities to give 90 days' notice and hold community meetings before closing. Santa Teresita officials gave the county two days notice and informed the public and hospital employees fewer than 24 hours before closing the facilities, the Star-News reports. Hospital CEO Mike Costello could not be reached for comment on the investigation, but he previously said that the closure was an effort to avoid bankruptcy and that the hospital could not afford to comply with new state nurse-to-patient ratio rules, according to the Star-News. However, at least two of the hospital's nurses said that the facility had no shortage of nurses and could have met the new state requirements. The investigation began Jan. 6, and Roman said that it would conclude in the next two weeks (Pasadena Star-News, 1/15).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.