Antelope Valley Hospital is suing Los Angeles County and its board of supervisors for the improper allocation of billions of dollars of tax revenue for health care.
The Lancaster hospital’s suit centers on funding from Measure B, which was voted into law in 2002, the year after 9/11. It provides money for emergency medical services and trauma centers to respond efficiently to medical emergencies as well as terrorist attacks.
Currently, Antelope Valley Hospital receives about 12.4 percent of the county’s ER and trauma visits, yet only receives 2.9 percent of Measure B funding amid non-county hospitals, according to the hospital.
Among all hospitals, Antelope Valley Hospital serves 5 percent of the county’s population but is granted less than 0.5 percent of all Measure B funding, based on Antelope Valley Hospital’s calculations.
The lawsuit, which was filed Tuesday, seeks economic damages and relief. By the hospital’s estimate, it is entitled to at least $12 million a year in Measure B funding, yet it receives slightly more than $1 million.
The suit was filed after a California state audit criticized how Measure B funds were allotted. According to the audit, over the past few years, Los Angeles County provided more financial support to its county-operated, non-trauma hospital than it did to its 12 non-county-operated, trauma hospitals combined. The report also verified that the county had, in fact, mishandled Measure B funds
“Despite repeated reassurances from the county that AVH would receive its fair share of funding, our hospital has been all but forgotten by the county – in favor of those hospitals that are closer to the county seat,” Dr. Pavel Petrik, trauma medical director at the hospital, said in a statement. “We are now at a point in the Antelope Valley where the currently dedicated resources can no longer cover the services required for the area’s 500,000 residents.”