The COVID-19 pandemic drained $12 billion from hospitals, and skyrocketing prices for pharmaceutical drugs, staff, and medical supplies have put many hospitals on the brink of collapse. In December 2022, a rural community hospital in Madera closed its doors, leaving hundreds of thousands of community members without emergency care and over 900 employees lost their jobs. Without immediate action, experts warn that dozens of hospitals across the state are at risk of closing or declaring bankruptcy. This would have serious consequences for patient care across the state.
The California State Legislature, under the leadership of Caballero, Soria and Rivas, took swift action to create the Distressed Hospital Loan Program, funded with $150 Million to provide loans to not-for-profit and public hospitals in significant financial distress. The Department of Health Care Access and Information would oversee the Distressed Hospital Loan Program, which would require financially distressed hospitals to provide more transparency about their financial condition, create more accountability to ensure the long-term sustainability of its operations and require state verification of financial plans prior to any loan approval.
“Reopening Madera Community Hospital has been my top priority this year. That is why I introduced AB 412, to create the Distressed Hospital Loan Program to provide immediate financial assistance to help Madera Community Hospital re-open. I am grateful to the Governor for prioritizing state assistance to re-open Madera Community Hospital. AB 412 is now contained in AB 112 which will expedite the process of the Distressed Hospital Loan Program coming into law.” –Assemblywoman Esmeralda Soria, Assembly District 27
“Ensuring that our hospitals remain open and able to serve patients has been priority number one for me this year. The hospital closure in Madera and other looming closures would be catastrophic in both rural and urban communities. To ensure proper oversight of public funds, I will continue to seek more transparency and frankly more accountability on hospital operations to ensure California preserves healthcare access for all. I am thankful for the swift, collaborative action of my colleagues, and the support and work of Governor Newsom and his team to address this crisis before it is too late.” –Senator Anna Caballero, Senate District 14
“I am grateful to the Governor and my legislative colleagues for their diligent work and commitment to help distressed hospitals throughout the state continue to provide life-saving care to all residents. California has established itself as a national leader in expanding healthcare options; access to medical facilities and infrastructure is critical and central to that mission. California certainly has more work to do to ensure the long-term viability of distressed hospitals, but today is an important step in the right direction.” -Speaker-Designate Robert Rivas, Assembly District 29
For interviews or inquiries, please contact:
Alexis.Manzanilla@asm.ca.gov (916) 319-2027 (Assemblywoman Soria)
Elisa Rivera (209) 726-5495 (Senator Caballero)
Spencer.Hagaman@sen.ca.gov (916) 319-2029 (Speaker-Designate Rivas)