$400M Released to Public Hospitals
The federal government and California reached an agreement on Friday to release $400 million in federal funding to public hospitals this year, but additional funds might not become available until July, the Oakland Tribune reports.
Since July 2005, the 22 public hospitals in California have not received $650 million in federal funding that they say they are due under the agreement. Hospitals have been borrowing funds from counties, as the state and federal governments negotiate a new financing system for public hospitals. Federal payments were being delayed until a new system was established.
Negotiations are continuing for the release of an additional $1 billion in federal funds, which might not become available until at least July.
The state also agreed to provide emergency cash advances to hospitals. Eight hospitals in the state -- including Alameda County Medical Center, San Joaquin Medical Center and San Francisco General Hospital -- have requested a total of $210 million from the state to maintain operations while negotiations continue (Vesely, Oakland Tribune, 2/19).