Small, Private Hospital Is Leading Candidate To Reopen King-Harbor Hospital, Official SaysPacific Hospital of Long Beach, a small private hospital that only offers basic health services and few specialized care programs, appears to be the "clear front-runner" to reopen Martin Luther King Jr.-Harbor Hospital, the Los Angeles Times reports. The hospital has proposed to reopen King-Harbor with 77 beds (Therolf, Los Angeles Times, 3/29).
Five health care organizations last fall formally submitted proposals to reopen King-Harbor. In August, Los Angeles County officials shut the hospital down after it failed a critical federal inspection. The hospital served mostly minority and low-income patients (Kaiser Heath Disparities Report, 11/7/07). One of the other organizations could still win the contract, but County Supervisor Yvonne Burke said that despite Pacific's size and lack of experience managing large institutions, it is the leading candidate.
There are several issues still yet to be resolved, according to the Times. One is determining the amount of money the county will reimburse a private operator for administering costly care to the uninsured. Other issues include how many uninsured patients the private hospital will care for and whether the University of California system will partner in the opening and at what capacity. In January, Robert Dynes, UC's outgoing president, said the university would not be able to play a lead role in the reopening of the hospital.
County and Pacific officials, meanwhile, "are entering a two-week period of particularly intense negotiations" to resolve the issues, the Times reports (Los Angeles Times, 3/29). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.