Antelope Valley (Calif.) Hospital will seek an injunction to halt the planned conversion of neighboring 74-bed High Desert Hospital, Lancaster, into an outpatient clinic, creating another hurdle for Los Angeles County in its effort to avert a projected $1.1 billion budget deficit at the county health system. The county plans to close all inpatient services at High Desert by June 30 with the goal of saving $10 million per year. Antelope Valley Hospital officials, fearful the conversion will increase the hospital's load of uninsured patients, have been trying to persuade the county to run High Desert as a joint project with Antelope Valley. The hospital board's decision to seek an injunction follows other successful efforts to block planned cutbacks on the basis they would harm the county's neediest residents. A federal judge is expected this week to finalize a temporary restraining order barring a 100-bed cutback at County-USC Medical Center, Los Angeles, and the closure of the county's 207-bed Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center, Downey, after a coalition of public interest groups sued to block the cuts. Antelope Valley's directors said they planned to contact the law firms that represented the plaintiffs in the Rancho Los Amigos action to see if they also would represent them. -- by Laura B. Benko
Private hospital to sue L.A. County to halt cuts
Send us a letter
Have an opinion about this story? Click here to submit a Letter to the Editor, and we may publish it in print.