Latest California Healthline Stories
Hospitals are now financially rewarded by insurers for safety and efficacy — which often results in patients spending less time as inpatients.
The 25-bed hospital in Crockett, Texas, abruptly closed its doors in 2017, joining the ranks of nearly 100 rural hospitals that have shut down in the past decade. But the community kept the faith and several doctors reopened the facility this year.
Some residents of remote Surprise Valley in Northern California fear their hospital will close like so many others around the country, as hope wanes for financial support from a Denver entrepreneur. The businessman, Beau Gertz, had planned to raise money through lab billing for faraway patients.
Two Missouri hospitals handed over their operations to a private company that has vastly increased the money the hospitals bring in through their laboratories, even though the lab tests are not done on-site.
Residents of Surprise Valley, in the state’s northeastern corner, voted to sell its hospital to a businessman with a controversial plan to bring in revenue. Its dismal financial plight exemplifies the woes of rural hospitals around the country.
The community of Surprise Valley, Calif., wrestled with the idea of selling its tiny, long-cherished hospital to a Denver entrepreneur who sees a big future in lab tests for faraway patients. Last summer, another exec had a similar idea but left town.
The Trump administration has talked about prioritizing the opioid crisis, but states have seen little in the way of new resources. And, in some states, getting into treatment is becoming even harder.
Without action by Congress, federal funding for the centers will end March 31. California, with more than 1,300 centers providing care for 6.5 million people, will be hit hard if the money dries up. Nationwide, nearly 10,000 centers serve 27 million people and get about 20 percent of their funding from the federal government.
Tiny Washington state hospice accepts no federal funds, relies on community volunteers and donations to serve the dying.
Eight teaching centers in California aim to train and retain doctors in medically underserved areas such as California’s Central Valley. They are among 57 such institutions across the country that may soon receive a boost in funding from Congress.