U.S., Local Officials Address Problems at King/Drew Medical Center
Rep. Juanita Millender-McDonald (D-Calif.) "summoned a cadre of health officials" to meet at Martin Luther King Jr./Drew Medical Center and explain their plans to correct problems at the hospital, the Los Angeles Times reports. The three-and-a-half-hour meeting was attended by 120 hospital officials, local residents and others (Fox, Los Angeles Times, 3/23). On Friday, CMS said that it would not revoke King/Drew's certification to participate in Medicare because it found that the hospital submitted adequate plans for correcting widespread flaws in the way it administers drugs to patients. CMS officials had told hospital officials earlier this month that the hospital had until March 23 to make the changes in order to retain the $200 million per year it receives in federal funding (California Healthline, 3/22). Millender-McDonald, whose district includes King/Drew, said, "We are not out of the woods yet," adding, "We can not let the people of this community down." Dr. Thomas Garthwaite, director of the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services, said that King/Drew's reform plan was adequate "on paper," but he added that the challenge would be to enact it. Garthwaite said, "I welcome (federal inspectors) coming in because I think it's the only way we can credibly show progress." Los Angeles City Council member Janice Hahn "chastised the county" for "a long history of understaffing and under-funding the hospital," the Times reports. None of the five members of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors attended the meeting (Los Angeles Times, 3/23).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.