OJAI: Local Foundation to Buy Community Hospital
Financially strapped Ojai Valley Community Hospital will get a second chance as a local foundation will purchase and convert the medical center to a not-for-profit facility, the Los Angeles Times reports. Owned by Tennessee-based Providence Healthcare Inc., the 110-bed hospital will be sold to the Ojai Valley Community Hospital Foundation, a group of local doctors and community leaders, for an undisclosed amount. Through charitable donations, the foundation hopes to shore up the 40-year-old facility's bottom line. According to financial records, the hospital makes $300,000-$400,000 annually on a $15 million budget. While other community hospitals around the state have been forced to close as larger regional hospitals attracted HMO contracts by slashing rates, Ojai remained open by dedicating many of its beds to skilled nursing care. The facility also closed its costly obstetrics unit earlier this year. Community Hospital CEO Victoria Alexander will continue running the facility for the foundation. She noted that if the hospital had closed its doors, residents would have had to travel 30 minutes to the nearest hospital. Alexander said, "It absolutely is the difference between life and death. If somebody on the east end has a heart attack, there's no way they're going to get to Ventura alive" (Kelly, 8/8).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.