The CMS has terminated its contract with Martin Luther King Jr.-Harbor Hospital in Los Angeles, effective Aug. 15, citing significant problems that continue to plague the troubled hospital.
Conditions at the facility have placed the health and safety of patients at great risk, the CMS said in a statement.
The $200 million CMS contract was crucial to the hospitals survival, making up half its operating budget.
A 13-member team performed a five-day unannounced make-or-break inspection at the 35-year-old inner-city hospital in July.
Detailed results of that survey were to be announced by hospital and Los Angeles County health officials at a news conference after deadline today.
The hospitals emergency room and inpatient services, now down to 48 beds, will close, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services said. The hospitals urgent-care center and outpatient clinics will remain open, she added.
Los Angeles County officials have developed a contingency plan for the hospital to minimize any negative impact to the community, CMS Acting Deputy Administrator Herb Kuhn said in a statement. CMS stands ready to assist the county and the state in their efforts to move forward.
The hospital, formerly known as King/Drew, has been cited repeatedly in the past three years for placing patients in immediate jeopardy.
In September 2006, the facility failed a federal inspection and remained open only under a series of agreements with the CMS and a major restructuring that shifted specialty services to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center nearby, including more than 200 employees. The arrangement reduced beds at King-Harbor from 250.
But patient-care problems persisted. 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. -- by Rebecca Vesely
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