Things are looking bleak at the clock ticks on....BD
After federal officials unequivocally decided today to revoke $200 million in funding, Los Angeles County's top health official said he would quickly begin closing Martin Luther King Jr.-Harbor Hospital, which has repeatedly shown itself unable to meet minimum standards for patient care. County health director Dr. Bruce Chernof notified the county Board of Supervisors of his emergency decision after the hospital failed its final test, a top-to-bottom review by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The decision in effect marks an end to nearly four years of failed attempts to reform the historic institution, treasured by many African Americans as a hard-won symbol of hope and progress after the 1965 Watts riots. Although the process of closure is expected to take two weeks, staffing was so paltry today that the county said it would close the busy emergency room at 7 p.m. County officials have said they will seek out a private operator to take over King-Harbor and try to reopen it within a year. But previous attempts to find such an entity failed, and success this time is by no means assured.