After Madera Community Hospital’s financial spiral ended in a Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the region’s newest state lawmaker is hoping to avoid a domino effect among rural hospitals.
Driving the news: Asm. Esmeralda Soria (D–Fresno) rolled out Assembly Bill 412, a new measure aiming to provide emergency loans to hospitals at-risk of closure or have already closed.
The bill could tap California’s extensive budget to help revive Madera Community Hospital following its December closure and March bankruptcy filing.
As designed, AB 412 would create the first emergency loan program for distressed hospitals or hospitals that have closed but have a plan to reopen.
Requirements of the bill include recipient hospitals developing a plan to get out of financial distress and into the black.
The proposal would buttress a less-than-needed $5 million budget appropriation outlaid for Madera Community Hospital’s reopening.
What’s ahead: Along with a committee hearing on April 18 to advance the bill, Soria told Nexstar that she’s continuing to explore alternatives to getting the critical rural hospital back open as soon as possible.
One idea is pairing the hospital site with UC Merced to develop a teaching hospital.