Los Angeles neighborhood suffers for lack of medical care

When a hospital serving the poor closes, big ripple effects happen. When Martin Luther King Jr.-Harbor Hospital was shut down because of egregious problems with care it delivered, it may have been the right thing to do, but the move has had serious consequences. For the thousands of South Los Angeles residents who had counted on the county-run King-Harbor, it's been nearly a year of struggling to get care from a shrinking care pool. King-Harbor's was the 15th hospital closure in Los Angeles County since 2000, and about half of those were used to serve the residents of South Los Angeles.

Now, clinics like the St. John's Well Child and Family Center are seeing 70 percent increases over their prior levels. And patients who get taken to area hospitals, like St. Francis Medical Center, may just as easily end up in the area Kaiser hospital when St. Francis is full. Meanwhile, the budget-crunched county health department is moving some indigent patients to private hospitals, many of which are in bad shape financially themselves. "We have an all-out crisis here," says Carol Meyer, director of governmental relations for the Los Angeles County Health Services Department.

To learn more about this situation:
- read this piece from The New York Times

Related Articles:
Many Los Angeles hospitals in financial trouble
CMS terminates King/Harbor contract

Suggested Articles

The profit margins and management of Community Health Group raise questions about oversight of managed care insurers.

Financial experts are warning practices about the pitfalls of promoting medical credit cards to their patients.

A proposed rule issued by HHS on Tuesday would expand short-term coverage, a move Seema Verma said will have "virtually no impact" on ACA premiums.