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COMMUNITY NEWS: CENTRAL

ECHO PARK : Cigna Hospital Plans to Close

April 18, 1993|IRIS YOKOI

Cigna Hospital is planning to close this summer because of financial problems caused by a drop in its patient load.

Cigna surgery and emergency patients will be referred to nearby St. Vincent Medical Center, 2131 W. 3rd St. However, the doctors' offices and outpatient clinic at Cigna will remain open, said John Anderson, Cigna vice president of support services.

The 152-bed hospital at 1711 W. Temple St. has been in the community for nearly 20 years. It opened in 1974 as Ross-Loos Hospital, run by Ross-Loos Medical Group, the nation's first health maintenance organization. The hospital's name changed when Ross-Loos became part of Cigna Healthplans in 1982.

No closing date has been set, but Anderson said the decision was related to a drop in the number of patients. The hospital has operated with only about one-third of its beds occupied during the last two years, said Kenneth K. Hahn, chief executive officer of the hospital.

"It's not economical to keep running the hospital," Anderson said.

St. Vincent officials said they have been advised by Cigna to expect an additional 25 to 30 patients a day after the closure, an increase the 386-bed hospital said it can easily accommodate.

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