Central California county remains optimistic on restoring healthcare access

The Madera County (Calif.) Board of Supervisors continues to press legislators and work on possible plans to restore healthcare access to the community after the city's sole hospital closed at the start of the year. 

Madera Community Hospital officially shut its doors at midnight on Dec. 30, after Livonia, Mich.-based Trinity Health's plan to buy the hospital fell through. The 106-bed hospital and its three affiliated clinics ultimately closed because of the inability to keep up with rising costs of care. County supervisor and member of the hospital's board, Rob Poythress, told KVPR in a Feb. 17 report that the hospital still hasn't filed for bankruptcy, which local leaders see as a glimmer of hope. 

"The message there is the hospital is still working very, very diligently to put something together on an operating model that works," Mr. Poythress told the news outlet. 

The county's board of supervisors recently issued letters to California Gov. Gavin Newsom and Madera Community's board, calling for things like higher Medi-Cal reimbursement rates, more funding for hospitals that are struggling and no-interest loans. The city has also hired a consultant, Force 10 Partners, to conduct an analysis of Madera Community Hospital's financials in the five years leading up to its closure. The financial advisory firm has helped at least one other rural hospital in the state restructure finances, the news outlet reported. 

Meanwhile, two Republican legislators in the state introduced a bill to block California Attorney General Rob Bonta from placing requirements on hospital mergers, The Sun reported Feb. 22. Trinity Health ultimately backed out of its plan to acquire Madera Community Hospital as it was unwilling to accept Mr. Bonda's conditions for approving the transaction, which included accepting price caps to keep services affordable.

With residents now traveling to other regions for care, nearby Fresno area hospitals continue to operate at or above capacity. 

"We've gone from an underserved community, medically, to [an] unserved community, medically, and that's unacceptable in any society," said David Rogers, Madera County supervisor, according to KVPR

Copyright © 2024 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars