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Overcrowded County-USC Medical Center wants to increase number of patient transfers

October 13, 2010 |  1:32 pm

Los Angeles County health officials are asking for permission to increase the transfer of patients from its overcrowded flagship hospital, Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center, to private facilities.

The Department of Health Services told the supervisors in a report this week that it needs to expand the number of patient-transfer agreements to include hospitals with specialist doctors, so County-USC can transfer more critically ill patients.

Officials also want the supervisors to allocate $3 million more to pay to transfer patients to private hospitals, on top of the $2 million already approved.

Supervisors are expected to consider the report on Oct. 19.

Because state law requires the county to provide medical treatment to the poor who have no other source of care, the county is required to pay private hospitals to care for patients transferred out of County-USC.

County-USC has been suffering from chronic severe overcrowding ever since it moved into a new, smaller facility in November 2008.

-- Rong-Gong Lin II

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