Isolated California hospital gets $2M from payer to stave off closure

L.A. Care Health Plan is giving Avalon, Calif-based Catalina Island Health hospital a $2 million grant to help stay afloat as the hospital looks to make an affiliation arrangement. 

Jason Paret, CEO of Catalina Island Health, told the Avalon City Council in January that the hospital was running out of money and might not be able to stay open past June, according to a Jan. 12 report from the Catalina Islander. Mr. Paret said the best option for the hospital was to become part of the University of California system.

L.A. Care, the largest publicly operated health plan in the U.S., said in an April 10 news release that it is also boosting Catalina Island Health's Medi-Cal reimbursement rates and urging other payers to do the same. 

The hospital is isolated because it is on an island, but because it is part of Los Angeles County, it is considered an urban facility, making it ineligible for some state funding offered to rural facilities, according to the release. The island is home to 4,200 residents and 733 are L.A. Care Health Plan beneficiaries. 

The grant will allow the hospital to stay open through December, according to an April 5 news release from Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn. 

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