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Four Los Angeles Area Hospitals To Shut Down

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CBS Los Angeles (con't)

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TUSTIN (CBSLA.com) — Bellflower Medical Center, Newport Specialty Hospital, and the Los Angeles and Hawthorne campuses of Los Angeles Metropolitan Medical Center will all be closed, according to a statement by the Pacific Health Corp.

The announcement comes one week after the company announced the closure of Anaheim General Hospital, following a $7 million fine by the state.

The hospitals’ emergency departments are scheduled to close on Wednesday, with current patients continuing to receive care as plans proceed to transfer them to other health care facilities.

“Pacific Health Corp. has taken the difficult decision to suspend services at all three of its remaining hospitals as we work to resolve the legacy issues facing our company,” the statement said. “These issues include the settlement we reached with the Department of Justice last year, as well as other legal matters from our past, which have made it impossible for us to continue operating in this especially challenging economic climate for all health-care providers.”

The Los Angeles Metropolitan Medical Center facilities have 212 beds each, with the Bellflower Medical Center having 142 beds, while the Newport Specialty campus has 177 beds.

Pacific Health Corp. did state that the “sub-acute-care” units at Anaheim General’s Buena Park campus and Newport Specialty Hospital will continue providing service to specialty patients until plans are made to transfer them to other facilities.

Last year, Pacific Health Corp. agreed to pay $16.5 million in fines and restitution to the federal government to settle allegations that homeless people were recruited to undergo unneeded tests or procedures, for which Medicare and MediCal were billed.

This month, Pacific Health Corp. was fined more than $7 million by the state after failing to pay wages. Paychecks had reportedly bounced as a result.

The investigation into the company began after receiving an anonymous tip that Bellflower Medical Center issued checks to employees that bounced in September.

The Department of Industrial Relations also said that the company was withholding paychecks past pay day, and had offered incentives to workers to wait to pick up checks at a later date.

The number of people who would lose their jobs due to the closures is currently unknown.

“We would like to extend a sincere thank you to all of our staff for their hard work and dedication to the many patients we have served over the years,” according to the company.

(©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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