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Urge Governor Newsom To Take Action!

Help District Hospitals Recover Financially From COVID Losses

District hospitals and the teams behind them — doctors, nurses, medical providers, and support staff — have provided heroic, selfless care to their communities throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath. Through trying times and while dealing with difficult State requirements, district hospitals persevered to care for the communities when they were needed most. And while communities have started to bounce back, the district hospitals have been left on the brink of financial collapse, with the State not offering any support.

It’s during this time of unprecedented need we are asking Governor Newsom to dedicate one-time funding to help district hospitals while they attempt to recover from financial losses due to COVID-19. Perhaps even more critical is the need to reform outdated Medi-Cal reimbursements to adequately compensate hospitals for the services they provide and avoid disparities in the care of the poorest Californians. Better Medi-Cal rates would help sustain district hospitals indefinitely.

he impact of Kaweah Health, like many other district hospitals across the state, is immense and vital to the local community. In addition to providing life-saving trauma services, primary care, and many specialty services, Kaweah Health is a powerful economic engine in Tulare County, supporting more than 8,000 jobs and generating $1.2 billion in economic activity; however, due to the extreme financial challenges brought on by the nursing crisis, inflation, and low Medi-Cal reimbursement rates, Kaweah Health is being forced to cut things that are dearly needed — medical services and jobs. With California sitting on top of a record budget surplus of nearly $100 billion, there is no excuse for the governor to not take action.

Kaweah Health, the largest of the 33 district hospitals still operating in California, has experienced dramatic challenges during the pandemic:

  • Cumulative operating losses of $133 million from pandemic start to Oct. 31, offset in part by federal Provider Relief Funds of $61 million
  • State mandates to cease all elective surgeries during COVID surges, forcing huge losses locally
  • Soaring costs of contract labor due to the labor shortage caused by COVID-19 — $80 million in traveling nurses and $16 million in staff bonuses
  • 52,274 COVID-19 outpatient cases — 11% of Tulare County population
  • 5,591 COVID-19 positive inpatients
  • Increased average length of stay from 5.3 days before COVID-19 to 10.2 days from pandemic beginning to current

We ask you to join us in voicing these concerns and email Governor Newsom today, urging him to consider a one-time allocation to help district hospitals recover their financial health and to reform Medi-Cal reimbursement for lasting change.

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If you have any issues with the form above, please consider visiting the Contact Governor Gavin Newsom (click HERE) webpage. Under purpose of communication, please select Need Help. For subject, please select Request – General. Continue to next page and cut and paste the letter: Urge Governor Newsom To Take Action!