Federal surveyors have begun an unannounced inspection of the troubled Martin Luther King, Jr.-Harbor Hospital in Los Angeles, according to the Los Angeles Department of Health Services.
A 13-member team from the CMS will conduct an inspection of the hospital to determine if it is compliant with the agencys 23 conditions of participation required to remain Medicare-certified.
The hospital receives $200 million a year in federal funding from its Medicare contract, or about half its operating budget. The hospital failed a federal inspection in September 2006, but remained open under a series of agreements with the CMS that shifted specialty services to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center nearby, including more than 200 employees.
The arrangement reduced beds at King-Harbor from 250 to 48. In May, a 43-year-old woman died after being left untreated for 45 minutes in King-Harbors emergency room lobby, despite signs of distress. The CMS inspection is expected to take about a week and findings could be announced by mid-August, according to L.A. County officials. -- by Rebecca Vesely