California hospital running low on cash, set to hit bottom in March or April

El Centro (Calif.) Regional Medical Center is running low on cash following a series of executive resignations; outgoing interim CEO Scott Phillips projected that the hospital "will hit bottom in terms of cash, sometime by the end of March or early April," KBPS reported Feb. 9.

While the hospital's finances have improved because of a $5 million loan from the state, that money is set to run out soon.

The hospital is looking for a merger as a way out of its rocky financial situation. However, some officials are concerned that the hospital's debt could dissuade a larger system from taking El Centro over. 

"The only solution for El Centro Regional Medical Center and the many other California hospitals on the financial brink is for the state to immediately deliver $1.5 billion of emergency relief funding this year," Dimitrios Alexiou, head of the Hospital Association of San Diego and Imperial Counties, told KBPS, "and to work on a longer-term strategy to systematically increase Medi-Cal payments so they more closely cover the actual cost of caring for patients."

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