While financial help could soon be on the way to struggling California hospitals, the status of Madera Community Hospital still looks bleak for the near future.
Part of the reason why, according to State Sen. Anna Caballero (D–Salinas), is that the hospital has not provided needed financial information to the state officials to facilitate financial help.
The backstory: Madera Community Hospital closed its doors in December following years of financial troubles that were exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Key issues driving the financial collapse include the high cost of travel nurses and the low Medi-Cal reimbursement rates that the hospital was receiving from the state.
Driving the news: The California Legislature recently approved a budget trailer bill that will create the Distressed Hospital Loan Program to provide $150 million in loans to not-for-profit and public hospitals in significant financial stress.
- Under the program, hospitals will have to be transparent about their financial information and receive approval from the state for financial plans moving forward.
- Caballero appeared on KSEE 24’s Sunday Morning Matters with Alexan Balekian and said she has received confirmation from Gov. Gavin Newsom that he will sign the bill, which she expects to happen this week.
State of play: In the meantime, Madera Community Hospital will not renew its license with the state, keeping it suspended.
- KVPR reported that the hospital will not take any action on renewing the license for at least a year, per statements from its bankruptcy attorney, and is instead relying on Madera County officials to convince state officials to place the hospital’s licensure on suspense.
- The hospital will need to have a current license in order to reopen.
What they’re saying: While the status of Madera Community Hospital’s license remains in flux, Caballero revealed that the hospital has not produced the needed financial records to take advantage of the loan program.
- “Serious issues have been raised about Madera Community Hospital, because they’ve been unable to give us various financial information as well as a plan,” Caballero said.
- Caballero added, “Money is just not going to go out because you say, ‘I need it.’ It’s going to go out because you have a plan, and you’ve got financials, and you’ve got audited work that’s been done to prove you need it. So we’re waiting. Madera has to get that act together.”