Martin Luther King Jr.-Charles R. Drew Medical Center, Los Angeles, wont lose Medicare funding until March 31, 2007, allowing the hospital time to merge with another Los Angeles County-owned hospital. The CMS had planned to terminate the 174-bed hospitals Medicare provider agreement on Nov. 30 but agreed to extend the deadline. In a letter to the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services, the CMS said it has a strong interest in ensuring individuals are not harmed during the process of downsizing the hospital to a size more capable of providing care. The hospital has struggled with quality and failed a crucial Medicare survey in August. A spokesman for the county health department said the extension was not the full year of funding, but certainly a good step. By the new deadline, the hospital will be fully transitioned into the countys Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Torrance, Calif., he said. King-Drew receives about $200 million from Medicare annually. -- by Jessica Zigmond
King-Drews federal funding extended
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