LANCASTER – Nearly 1,100 patients visited Antelope Valley Hospital’s (AVH) trauma department in the last 12 months, the hospital announced Monday. That volume marks a 31 percent increase from two years ago and accentuates the hospital’s need for additional Measure B funding for which the hospital has filed suit against Los Angeles County and the County Board of Supervisors, hospital officials said.
As the only Level II trauma center within a 50-mile radius, Antelope Valley Hospital sees 12.4 percent of Los Angeles County trauma and emergency department (ED) visits. AVH’s emergency department is on pace to see more than 120,000 patients this year alone, making it the second busiest ED in L.A. County, according to the hospital.
“AVH provides an important link in the county’s overall delivery of services to its neediest residents,” stated Pavel Petrik, M.D., chair of the department of surgery and trauma medical director at AVH. “We are so proud of the staff of trauma surgeons, neurosurgeons, orthopedic surgeons, anesthesiologists, specially trained nurses, and radiologists who are on duty and/or on call 24/7/365 to provide care for people when they need it most.”
The pending lawsuit filed by the hospital against Los Angeles County and its Board of Supervisors is for failing to properly administer and allocate billions of dollars in property tax revenue per Measure B, passed by voters in 2002. The lawsuit seeks equitable relief, economic damages and other appropriate compensation on behalf of AVH, which serves 5 percent of Los Angeles County’s population, yet receives less than one-half of 1 percent of all Measure B funds annually. [Read more here.]
In addition, under the current allocation, AVH (and UCLA) funding inexplicably stops after approximately six months while the other hospitals receive funding for the entire year. AVH is currently being reimbursed slightly over $1 million per year. Using other non county trauma hospitals as a benchmark, AVH should be receiving at least $12 million a year in Measure B funds, according to AVH officials.
If the county was to agree to an appropriate allocation of Measure B funds to AVH, that sum would be less than three-tenths of 1 percent of the L.A. County Department of Health Services’ $3.8 billion budget but would be critical to keeping AVH in good health, according to the hospital.
[Information via news release from Antelope Valley Hospital.]
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