CMS terminates King/Harbor contract

Despite a series of problems that might have killed another facility quickly, Los Angeles-based Martin Luther King Jr.-Harbor Hospital has kept its tenuous hold on life for years. This one, however, is probably the death knell for the troubled hospital.

CMS has terminated its contract with King-Harbor effective Aug. 15, citing issues that "have placed the health and safety of patients at great risk." This follows a recent last-hope inspection by CMS, triggered by the death of a patient in its lobby as well as a host of additional problems. Yanking the certification will cost the hospital half of its operating budget, or about $200 million per year.

The hospital will now close its emergency department and 48 inpatient beds, though its urgent-care centers and outpatient clinics will remain open. Now the question is how the troubled inner-city served by King/Harbor, which already lacks medical resources, will absorb the loss of these beds.

To learn more about CMS's decision:
- read this Modern Healthcare article

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