An Important Step: Los Angeles Hospital Opens Its Doors To Homeless

Posted by GreaterGoodness

In January 2016, the Martin Luther King Community Hospital in Los Angeles opened a new recuperative care facility specifically to serve homeless people. The facility will serve homeless patients after their discharge from the community hospital or the local Martin Luther King Jr. Outpatient Center. With a budget of about $3 million, and 50 rooms and 100 beds available, the innovative facility will be the largest of its kind in Los Angeles County.

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One goal of the facility is to reduce the long-term cost of treating homeless patients. Homeless patients often end up staying in hospital beds for longer than medically necessary at a cost to the county, because health care officials cannot immediately discharge patients when they don’t have a home to return to. According to reports issued by Los Angeles County, more than $70 million a year is spent on inpatient care for the homeless as a result of this. The center also has other positive impacts on the homeless community, as it grants them access to daily meals and allows them to leave the hospital bed.
flickr.com/pdjohnson

flickr.com/pdjohnson

Martin Luther King Community Hospital originally opened in 1972 and closed in 2007. After years of delays due to issues with funding and bureaucracy, it finally reopened with remodeled and new buildings in June 2015. The new hospital was meant to respond to changes in medicine and health care systems during the hospital’s period of closure. For example, county officials realized that a large number of patients who had visited the emergency room visited for psychiatric illnesses, so the new hospital contains an urgent-care psychiatric center.Including a program for homeless patients both helps the homeless and saves the state money. To find out what you can do to help the homeless, visit the Greater Goodness Site.

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