Time running out for shuttered California hospital to reopen, CEO says

Madera (Calif.) 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. Outpatient services and rural clinics followed during the first week of January, leaving the hospital's leadership scrambling to find a financial partner to restart operations, KVPR reports.

The second option is to bring back healthcare services itself, but that would require a significant cash infusion. 

The third option, a last resort for Madera Community Hospital leaders, is bankruptcy and liquidation. They have been holding off on that for as long as possible, but time is running out, according to the report. 

"If we can't quickly do something and the state can't step in and help us get this hospital back open, it might be impossible to open if we can't find a partner," CEO Karen Paolinelli told KVPR.

The hospital posted a $11.5 million loss in fiscal year 2021-22 — its last full year of operations — as the pandemic destroyed its bottom line, according to Ms. Paolinelli. Other contributors were low Medi-Cal reimbursements and a lack of nurses, which forced it to pay a premium for travel nurses.

Madera Community Hospital comprises almost 40 acres of property — with millions of dollars of equipment sitting idle — and it is costing about $900,000 a month to maintain its skeleton operations such as cleaning, security and accounting, according to the report. 

Despite its financial challenges, the hospital's leadership is determined to restore operations and continues to explore multiple avenues to do so. However, they admit that every day the hospital is closed, the more difficult it will be to reopen. 

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