Thursday, November 19, 2009

Background Info for MLK Jr. Hospital









November 2009






To open and sustain, for the residents of South Los Angeles, a new, independently operated, high-quality, financially stable community hospital with an emergency department.




Since the closure of MLK-Harbor Hospital in August 2007, the County has been working on developing options to provide hospital services at the MLK site.  In Spring 2008, at the direction of the Board of Supervisors, the County approached the University of California (UC) to assist in this effort.  Together, the two parties developed a set of common principles to guide their discussions.  These included recognition that the new hospital would (i) serve as a safety-net provider treating a high volume of Medi-Cal and uninsured patients, (ii) be closely coordinated with the County's existing network of specialty and primary care ambulatory clinics, (iii) optimize public and private resources to fund care, and (iv) operate independently of the County through an non-profit governing authority under terms of a partnership agreement with UC.




The County and UC − with the support and involvement of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger − are moving forward on the steps needed to form a new independent non-profit entity to open and operate "New MLK Hospital."  The County and UC will create the wholly independent, non-profit 501(c)(3) corporate entity to operate the new facility at the former MLK hospital site.  The non-profit entity will have a governing board composed of members that are, initially, appointed by County and UC officials.  The board's appointed members would not be current County or UC employees. The non-profit board members would be selected based on having at least 10 years of demonstrated, high-level management experience in health, business, or law.


The non-profit entity will hold the "New MLK Hospital" license. The non-profit entity will operate in the facilities at the MLK site under a long-term lease agreement with the County.


Staff at "New MLK Hospital" will be hired by the non-profit entity. The non-profit Board of Directors of "New MLK Hospital" would determine any provisions for collective bargaining for the hospital staff. UC will provide, select and supervise UC physicians to provide health care at the hospital under terms of an agreement with the non-profit corporate entity.




At full operation, the hospital would have 120-licensed beds with an estimated average daily census of 108.  The bed breakdown would be: 92 medical/surgical beds, 10 routine OB beds with nursery services, 12 medical/ surgical ICU beds, and 6 coronary ICU beds


"New MLK Hospital's" Emergency Department would provide an estimated 30,000 annual visits plus an additional 10,000 annual outpatient service visits, including follow-up care and outpatient surgeries.   


As proposed, UC will enter into a contractual agreement with the new non-profit entity to establish standards pertaining to quality assurance and the provision of physician services at "New MLK Hospital."  Through these arrangements, UC will have a direct and substantial role in assuring that high quality standards for patient care are established and maintained.  UC would also lead efforts to re-establish training programs at the facility.


Services provided at the hospital site, including ancillary services (lab, radiology, etc.), would be closely coordinated with the overall health service network in County Service Planning Area (SPA) 6; and coordinated with services provided by the County at the Multi-Service Ambulatory Care Center (MLK MACC) on the hospital's campus, and Hubert H. Humphrey Comprehensive Care Center (Humphrey CHC) located nearby. A comprehensive information technology program would be developed to manage patient care services.




"New MLK Hospital" services will be located in the new seismically compliant patient tower, which will include an emergency department.  Reopening the existing hospital building is not contemplated because of significant seismic retrofit requirements and related costs.  The County will make substantial capital investments to build out the patient tower, and to construct a MACC and ancillary services building. 




UC will not provide start-up or ongoing financial support for "New MLK Hospital." One-time and ongoing funding from the County, combined with Medi-Cal reimbursements, will be the principal financing mechanisms for the new hospital. 




The ongoing proposals and plans for "New MLK Hospital" must be reviewed and approved by Board of Supervisors. County and UC officials will work with the Governor's Office, California Health and Human Services Agency, and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to secure the legislative, regulatory, and other programmatic support needed to execute, fund and implement this effort. County and UC officials will work to include community input in the key implementation stages of "New MLK Hospital's" development. Inpatient services could commence at "New MLK Hospital" in late 2012.



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