California hospital aims to reopen after ousting management company

Tulare (Calif.) Regional Medical Center shut down Oct. 29, but officials are planning to reopen the facility after terminating Tulare-based HealthCare Conglomerate Associates' contract to manage to the hospital, according to The Valley Voice.

Tensions have flared between HCCA and the Tulare Local Healthcare District for months. The hospital filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy in late September, and one month later HCCA suspended operations at the hospital. In a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act notice sent to hospital workers in October, HCCA said the "sudden and unexpected" bankruptcy filing is what prompted the company to suspend operations at Tulare Regional Medical Center.

In late October, the bankruptcy court granted the district's request to sever its contract with HCCA, and the district board voted to suspend the hospital's license to prevent the state from shutting down the facility if HCCA exited without a clear handover plan in place.

The hospital district still has significant progress to make before Tulare Regional Medical Center can reopen. Kevin Northcraft, president of the Tulare Local Healthcare District, said Tulare Regional Medical Center Interim CEO Larry Blitz will provide a timeline for reopening the facility at a meeting Wednesday. The timeline must be approved by state health officials, according to the Visalia Times-Delta.

"We have been working with state health officials," Mr. Northcraft told the Visalia Times-Delta. "They have been very cooperative. They understand this is a medical emergency."

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