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Plans Approved to Expand County-USC Medical Center

Plans were approved Tuesday to begin preparing for the addition of more beds at County-USC Medical Center.

The Board of Supervisors approved a measure to begin preparations that will expand the number of hospital beds in the County-USC Medical Center Tuesday.

Supervisor Gloria Molina said overcrowding has constantly been an issue in the hospital that currently only holds 600 beds.

"We are struggling to provide appropriate inpatient and emergency care to our patients," Molina said.

The approved plan will allow the county to prepare to bring in new beds, should the Affordable Care Act warrant them.

Patients are often forced to transfer to Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center to receive care due to the hospital's lack of space.

The county is still unsure how the Affordable Care Act will affect the hospital's number of patients, as citizens will be given more health care options. 

Molina requested 150 additional beds, and is hopeful that they will be utilized by an influx of patients after the Affordable Care Act is fully enacted.

The board is also working on an overall hospital expansion in the county, as seen through their approval of a $366.8 million reconfiguration of Rancho Los Amigos.

Supervisor Michael Antonovich was the only board member to vote against the Rancho Los Amigos reconfiguration.

Antonovich said he did not want to vote for these expenditures without fully understanding the county's goals for hospital expansion.

Today, he said he would approve the expansion of County-USC only if staffers could provide him with a clear plan for OliveView-UCLA Medical Center within two weeks.

The board chose to vote unanimously in favor of both requests.

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