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Another L.A. Hospital Closing

Century City facility sets a date. A Duarte center acted last week.

January 14, 2004|Lisa Richardson | Times Staff Writer

Tenet Healthcare Corp. has notified Los Angeles County of its plans to close Century City Hospital on April 30. The hospital's emergency room, however, will close in 90 days, a spokesman said.

"We were unable to reach the terms we wanted with the owner of the building," said David Langness, a spokesman for Tenet.

The decision marks the second time this month that a Los Angeles County hospital has said it will close or drastically curtail services.

Last week Santa Teresita Hospital in Duarte, run by the Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart, announced that it would suspend services in all but its skilled-nursing unit and a couple of other units. On Friday it closed its general surgical beds, intensive care unit, perinatal beds and supplemental services, saying, in part, that it could not afford to hire enough nurses to meet new state staffing mandates.

That hospital is limiting admissions now and arranging to transfer all but 177 elderly nursing patients to other hospitals.

As of Jan. 1, a new state law requires hospitals to have a minimum number of nurses per unit -- varying by type of care provided. Previously, only intensive care units at hospitals had to maintain staffing ratios of one registered nurse for every two patients, but ratios will now apply more broadly.

Century City Hospital's closure is not related to the new staffing ratios, Langness said.

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