Los Angeles County supervisors voted 4-1 to close 207-bed Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center, Downey, Calif., which specializes in stroke and head injury care, by June and to reduce the number of beds at County-USC Medical Center, Los Angeles, to 695 from 745. The county is projected to face a budget deficit of $500 million to $750 million in three years, and the changes are expected to save it $75 million in 2003 and up to $86 million annually thereafter. In a concession to opponents, county supervisors agreed to hire an independent consultant to evaluate the county's assessment of Rancho Los Amigos' finances, the Los Angeles Times reported. The supervisors plan to meet in January to finalize the closure. Next month they are scheduled to vote on whether to end inpatient care and emergency services at 328-bed Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Torrance, Calif., and 226-bed Olive View-UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles. In June the county decided to close 11 health centers and four school-based clinics and to convert 170-bed High Desert Hospital, Lancaster, Calif., into an outpatient clinic. -- by Laura B. Benko
L.A. County to close stroke hospital, shrink USC
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