The closure of Madera Community Hospital leaves the residents of Madera County severely underserved as they now have to travel to Fresno or Merced to receive similar medical care.
In an upcoming Sunrise FM interview, Rep. John Duarte (R–Modesto) discussed the dire situation surrounding the hospital. The full interview will be available on all podcasting platforms on Wednesday.
The backstory: The issues surrounding Madera Community Hospital’s bankruptcy and closure have been widely reported:
- COVID-19 saw the rise of travel nurses, which drastically changed the payroll structure of the hospital. Nurses that were once making $60 an hour were no longer available and had to be replaced by travel nurses, which could easily demand over double the hourly wage.
- Madera Community Hospital found itself deeply in the red with its Medical reimbursements from the state, reportedly operating at a loss of $2.5 million every month.
- Roman Catholic healthcare organization Trinity Health had a deal in place to acquire the hospital, but certain parameters surrounding the deal that were requested by Attorney General Rob Bonta caused Trinity Health to back out.
State of play: Another issue that has not been widely discussed is the failure of federal COVID-19 relief funds to address the issue.
- Duarte told The Sun that the federal relief was tailored to revenues, giving bigger hospitals far better relief sums and leaving hospitals like Madera Community Hospital behind.
What they’re saying: Duarte said he is working to find a solution to get the hospital back up and running again, including co-signing a letter with Rep. Jim Costa (D – Fresno) to Bonta and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services requesting emergency relief.
- “We need to get Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement rates up higher than what they are now,” Duarte said. “We need to get the nursing schools in the Valley to produce more nurses to meet our needs locally, and we need to get some resources from Health and Human Services.”