TheLos Angeles County board of supervisors unanimously approved in concept a plan to strip Martin Luther King Jr.-Drew Medical Center , Los Angeles , of specialty services and turn over its management to Harbor-University of California at Los Angeles Medical Center , Torrance . The board will hold a final vote in two weeks on a more detailed version of the plan, a last-ditch effort to save the county hospital after years of failed inspections and patient deaths linked to poor care. Under the plan, 249-bed King-Drew would retain an emergency room and 100 beds for basic inpatient care. All other services, including pediatrics and neurosurgery, would be performed at 325-bed Harbor-UCLA, another county hospital about 10 miles away. King-Drew would be renamed Harbor-MLK Community Hospital and would sever its affiliation with the private Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, which uses the inner-city hospital as its teaching facility.
The supervisors' decision came less than two weeks after the CMS notified King-Drew that it had failed a critical inspection and would lose its federal funding -- about $200 million a year, or half of the hospital's budget -- on Nov. 30 unless it submitted a viable reform plan. Supervisors chose the current plan over a number of other options, including selling the hospital to a private company or closing it altogether. State and federal regulators also must approve the plan.