Centinela Freeman HealthSystem in Los Angeles County may close the emergency department at its Memorial location in Inglewood, which treated 38,000 emergency cases last year. Centinela Freeman plans to divert patients to Centinela, which is owned by the same health system and is located only one and a half miles away. But critics are concerned that the closure will put too much pressure on Centinela and endanger those in need of emergency care. In the past several years, nine emergency departments have closed in the area, but Memorial would be the biggest closure yet and promises to be the most devastating to Los Angeles County. Hospital officials point out that two-thirds of patients treated in the facility receive non-emergency care and that Memorial would open a urgent care facility if it closed the ER. They also said that Memorial operates at a loss, and that given that an emergency department is costly for a hospital to operate, Centinela Freeman HealthSystem needs to cut this expense in order to salvage the hospital's bottom line.
- read the Los Angeles Times article