Southern California Program

Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital

Health Care
Los Angeles, CA
June 2016

The new Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital (MLK) is a privately operated, 131-bed inpatient facility that opened in July 2015.  Hospital medical leadership includes physicians who maintain UCLA faculty appointments.  An Advanced Care Clinic (ACC) will be established by the hospital to address the multiple healthcare needs of patients with complex chronic conditions who are discharged from inpatient care, and referred from community clinics and the hospital’s emergency department.  The MLK emergency department is providing over 60,000 patient visits on an annualized basis, double the number anticipated.  Many of these patients have not seen a doctor in years due to a severe shortage of physicians in South Los Angeles.  Currently, the hospital’s high-risk patients must often either be kept for observation for conditions that could otherwise be managed in an outpatient setting, or remain in the hospital longer due to the lack of a medical home with the resources to provide appropriate follow-up care.  Some of these patients might be socially isolated, disabled and/or elderly.  All have a history of heart attacks, strokes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and pneumonia.  They also tend to have high blood pressure, poorly managed diabetes and/or end-stage emphysema, account for 36% of the hospital’s inpatient stays, and are responsible for 60% or more of inpatient costs.  The Advanced Care Clinic will open in the second half of 2016 with multi-disciplinary provider teams serving between 350-700 patients per provider depending on the severity of their health conditions.  The ACC teams will work closely with the hospital’s specialists and care coordinators to expedite discharges from the hospital and implement follow-up care plans for patients at high risk for readmission.  A W. M. Keck Foundation grant will support the ACC’s start-up, including allied health staff to identify and address social and behavioral health issues that can cause patients to be readmitted to the hospital, including poor medication compliance and lack of access to financial assistance, food and transportation.

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