L.A. County Works To Preserve Emergency Department Care After Hospital Closures

In a California Healthline Special Report, Bruce Chernof, Los Angeles County director of health services, and Jim Lott, executive vice president of the Hospital Association of Southern California, discussed efforts to prevent the closure of additional emergency departments and hospitals in the county.

Since 2003, one public hospital and EDs at five private hospitals have closed because of funding problems, overcrowding and lapses in care delivery.

Lott said federal grants are needed to redevelop the county’s hospital system, something that is unlikely at a time when the Bush administration is looking to trim Medicaid and Medicare funding.

Chernof has proposed re-opening at least one closed hospital in the county through a public-private partnership. He also has proposed closing 11 county-run health clinics and re-opening the facilities as privatized centers to address the county’s projected budget deficit (Kennedy, California Healthline, 2/25).

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