California hospital CEO writes open letter to governor following $127M loss

Gary Herbst, the CEO at Visalia, Cali.-based Kaweah Delta Health Care District, wrote an open letter to Gov. Gavin Newsom describing a "dire situation" for the hospital that has lost $127 million through Sept. 30, Yourcentralvalley.com reported.

Mr. Herbst cited California's decision to end elective surgeries during the COVID-19 pandemic, a decline in the number of patients hospitals seeking care, and treatment of thousands of COVID-19 patients with almost no increase in Medicare reimbursement rates as reasons for the hospital's struggles.

Additionally, Mr. Herbst has struggled with filling employee vacancies. From March 2020 to September 2022, the hospital spent $80 million on contract labor to cover the workforce shortages.

The hospital has laid off 100 employees in administrative positions and executives are taking a 20 percent pay cut as part of a plan to get the hospital back in the green.

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