MADERA, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – Adventist Health announced on Thursday it will no longer pursue its plan to reopen and run the closed and bankrupt Madera Community Hospital.
The hospital closed back in December before it filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy in March.
Madera County Supervisor Robert Poythress, who is also a member of the Madera Community Hospital Board of Trustees, says he knew this day might come.
“It just didn’t quite work out with their model, with their operational model, and they let us know issues that they were having the entire time,” said Poythress. “So, because of their communication, it wasn’t a surprise when they actually decided to pull out.”
Poythress says hope isn’t completely dead, as now the hospital is working as fast as it can to find a new operator.
“There are still a couple of suitors. People looking to engage with the hospital and providing proposals.”
However, the clock has almost struck midnight on what was once a healthcare oasis for Madera and Madera County.
“The creditors committee are losing patience in the process, but it does look like they are still going to provide an opportunity for the hospital to negotiate with a potential suitor before liquidation begins,” said Poythress.
In August, as part of the new Distressed Hospital Loan Program, $50 million was set aside for Madera Community Hospital.
Unfortunately, the hospital may never get the chance to use those funds, as Poythress says the money is inaccessible until a proper buyer comes along.
Since the hospital went under, Madera County patients have had to go to Fresno or Merced for care.
In emergencies, it sometimes takes over 30 minutes to get help, versus residents heading right next door.
It can sometimes be a burden for those that need help, and for those that wish to provide it.
“With a population of 70,000 people in Madera County, it’s a significant impact to the surrounding counties and the EMS system without having an adult care facility in Madera County. So, hopefully, another healthcare group can come in and go through the process of reopening,” said Mato Parker, EMS Specialty Services Coordinator for Fresno and Madera counties.