County Requests State Aid After Diverting Funds for Hospital
On Friday, state officials will consider whether to provide an emergency multimillion-dollar bailout to Modoc County after it illegally used special funds to support a hospital, the AP/Fresno Bee reports.
The northeastern California county is hoping to receive either a full or partial loan from the state's Pooled Money Investment Board to help pay off the $12.5 million it borrowed to fund Modoc Medical Center. The county also is considering bankruptcy.
Last year, an audit by the state controller's office found that the county was breaking state law by diverting funds originally meant for other county projects toward the medical center.
The hospital is struggling to stay afloat financially and has had to cut services such as infant deliveries and minor surgeries (Bussewitz, AP/Fresno Bee, 7/22).
The investment board's three-person staff said that the state treasurer's office is looking into alternatives toÂ an emergency loan to help Modoc County.
Without financial assistance, it is unclear whether the county will be able to meet its July payroll, local officials said (Walters, Sacramento Bee, 7/22).
In August, the county is scheduled to hold a special election to decide whether to create a new tax to fund the hospital (AP/Fresno Bee, 7/22).
On Thursday, KQED's "California Report" covered the county's budget crisis and possible taxation to fund Modoc Medical Center as part of its "Health Dialogues" series (Varney, "California Report," KQED, 7/22).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.