The Los Angeles County public healthcare system will receive an additional $150 million from the federal government during the next two years, forestalling further facility closures through at least 2004, the Los Angeles Times reported. The county has shuttered 16 health centers and intends to close 82-bed High Desert Hospital, Lancaster, and 207-bed Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center, Downey, by July in order to save $241 million this fiscal year. But the extra funding will spare 226-bed Olive View-UCLA Medical Center, Sylmar, and 328-bed Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Torrance, which also were slated for closure, as well as the county's outpatient clinic network. The deal may be announced this week when HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson visits Los Angeles. It represents major progress for the health system, which in June had predicted a $709 million deficit within three years. Still, the $150 million falls far short of the $1.4 billion the county had requested. -- by Laura B. Benko
HHS to step in with $150 million for L.A. County
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