Martin Luther King Jr./Drew Medical Center, Los Angeles, could lose $200 million in funding, or roughly half its budget, next month after failing a federal inspection of procedures used to restrain aggressive psychiatric patients. Loss of the funding would likely force the troubled public hospital to close, officials have said. Earlier this month, King/Drew received its second warning in six months for having Los Angeles County police use Taser stun guns to subdue mental patients without first trying less extreme methods. The 233-bed hospital vowed to retrain its staff and to ban police from carrying Tasers when summoned. But CMS regulators found that employees were still following improper procedures and officers were still carrying Taser guns during mock drills held this week, according to a document obtained by the Los Angeles Times. King/Drew will face at least one more opportunity to show that it has corrected the problems before the Jan. 19 cutoff date. The hospital has repeatedly been cited by regulators for inferior medical care and other problems that contributed to the deaths of several patients. -- by Laura B. Benko
Beleaguered L.A. hospital could lose millions
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