Los Angeles County trauma centers are on their way to receiving their fair share of funding after Senate Bill 792 passed the Senate floor unanimously on Wednesday.
Under the bill, $250 million will be reallocated to best reflect where funds are needed in county trauma centers by requiring the County of Los Angeles to establish an oversight commission. The bill is a reiteration of County Measure B, which was passed in 2002.
On the heels of 9/11, parcel tax Measure B was passed by voters in 2002 to avoid the life-threatening shutdown of L.A. County’s trauma network and position hospitals to be able to respond to biological and chemical terrorism.
The use of those funds, however, came into spotlight in 2014 when a state audit found the county couldn’t prove the money was being spent properly.
Of the money approved, $190 million of the $250 million was split between three hospitals while the rest in the county were left to the remaining amount.
In 2015, the Antelope Valley Hospital filed a claim against the county, saying it had been shortchanged on funds for its trauma center and claiming it was owed millions of dollars.
Locally, Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital received $908,812 in 2011-12. This puts the hospital second to last for funds among non-county operated trauma centers, according to the 2014 California State Audit Report.
Largely in response to 9/11, taxes from Measure B aimed to provide funds for emergency medical services, trauma centers and bioterrorism response to cover uncompensated care costs. Three cents per square foot on real property improvements go to the L.A. County trauma network under the measure.
The Assembly Rules Committee will vote on the bill next.
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