Los Angeles hospitals brace for billions in earthquake upgrades by 2030

Seventy-three of the 93 hospital campuses in Los Angeles County have not yet met the mandate that all acute-care facilities must be deemed capable of remaining fully operational following a major earthquake by 2030, according to the Los Angeles Business Journal. 

Five things to know:

1. The mandate is part of a California bill passed in 1994 after an earthquake resulted in eight hospitals having to evacuate patients because of lack of power, water or other key components. 

2. California Department of Health Care Access and Information data shows that 176 out of about 700 acute-care buildings on the county's hospital campuses would need seismic upgrades to remain operational following a quake.

3. A 2016 study from Rand Corp. found the cost of bringing the 73 campuses into compliance with the mandate is projected to cost between $8.7 billion — assuming all of the acute-care buildings need to be retrofitted only — and $39.5 billion if all acute-care buildings were to be replaced.

4. The COVID-19 pandemic worsened financial situations for hospitals. In 2021, 53 of the 93 hospital campuses had operating losses, according to Kaufman Hall. 

5. Due to the challenges of the pandemic, the California Hospital Association is seeking to have the deadline pushed back. Buildings with emergency rooms and trauma centers would remain under the 2030 deadline, but all other acute-care facilities would have the deadline moved to 2037. 

Read the full report here

 

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