California hospitals, local governments clash on creating consolidated healthcare district

Brawley's Pioneers Memorial (Calif.) Healthcare District is opposing state legislation that would consolidate three healthcare districts within Imperial County, Calif., into one, Imperial Valley Press reported Sept. 18.

Assembly Bill 918,, which is heading to Gov. Gavin Newsome's desk, would turn El Centro Regional Medical, Pioneers Memorial Health and Heffernan into a single district. Pioneers Memorial Health believes that the measure lacks a funding mechanism, fails to create a singular system, will result in job losses, has high startup costs and creates unequal representation.

El Centro supports AB 918. "The creation of a single healthcare district in the Imperial Valley will benefit our residents with improved healthcare access, better Medical and MediCare reimbursements, and so much more," El Centro Mayor Martha Cardenas-Singh said.

"Pioneers has taken a position of opposition towards AB 918 as the bill is premature," a Pioneers statement said. "AB 918 attempts to create a county-wide healthcare district before any studies have been done regarding the feasibility of merging the two hospitals in the district and the funding required to support such a singular district."

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