French Hospital of Los Angeles on Wednesday announced an anticipated cutback of its emergency room services.
The nonprofit 155-bed Chinatown hospital at 531 W. College St. is the third downtown Los Angeles hospital to announce a drastic curtailment of its emergency care program this month.
The cutbacks are designed to divert city and county ambulances that may bring in substantial numbers of patients who cannot pay their bills, but who, by law, cannot be refused treatment. By downgrading to “stand-by” status, the hospital will no longer be required to have a physician on duty in the emergency room around the clock.
“Over the last year, the ever-increasing burden of total uncompensated care on French Hospital has grown to the point that in recent months we started to seriously consider the discontinuation of certain services, specifically emergency care,” French Hospital President Donald Carrico said in a prepared statement.
The cutback will be effective June 18.
Earlier this month, the 327-bed California Medical Center and the 411-bed Hospital of the Good Samaritan announced similar cutbacks. Cutbacks are also being considered by officials at Linda Vista Community Hospital in Boyle Heights, Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center and White Memorial Medical Center.