Temple Community Hospital closes amid talk of real estate development [updated]

HISTORIC FILIPINOTOWN — For more than 70 years the steep hill that rises above Temple and Hoover  streets has been crowned by the Temple Community Hospital, its multi-storied buildings and blue sign a familiar sight to motorists passing on the nearby Hollywood Freeway. But the future of this hilltop hospital is now up in the air after it abruptly closed down last week.

Some nearby residents  were surprised to see the hospital’s parking lot chained off and some signs covered up. On the locked, glass front door a notice reads that the hospital would cease operations on midnight, Sept. 9.

The closure of the hospital compound, which consists of several buildings dating back to the 1920s, generated speculation among neighbors that the nearly three-acre property with views of downtown as well as the Hollywood sign would be converted into a residential development.  But it’s not clear what is going to happen to the hospital property.

An official from the hospital, once known as Temple Hospital and Wilshire Hospital, said a press release was being prepared with more details about the closure.

Update: The hospital, which employed a staff of more than 300, provided the following statement regarding the closure:

The decision to cease operations followed a careful analysis of patient volume, capital needs and revenue trends as well as the changing health care landscape. Despite the recent expansion of the Medi-Cal program as part of the Affordable Care Act, community hospitals continue to face unique and fundamental challenges. Ultimately, low reimbursement rates, changes in service-delivery models, regulatory requirements, an aging building, and the need for increased capital expenditures made TCH’s operations unsustainable.

“This summer, rather than compromise on service or patient care, we decided to provide our patients with the best care possible while methodically shutting down our operations” said Herbert G. Needman, President and Chief Executive Officer.

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