Supervisors approve additional $6 million loan to KMC

More money has been loaned to Kern Medical Center to help keep the hospital operating. The Board of Supervisors approved an additional $6 million as the facility struggles to stay afloat.

More money has been loaned to Kern Medical Center to help keep the hospital operating. The Board of Supervisors approved an additional $6 million as the facility struggles to stay afloat.

KMC's loan from the county is now up to $84 million. Three months ago, their loan cap was $70 million.

This isn't the last loan KMC officials said they plan to ask for. They will ask for $6 million more every two months for the next six months.

Supervisors discussed the financial situation of KMC Monday afternoon.

KMC officials explained they are having financial trouble because the state is delaying payments of county hospital funds, specifically DSH or Disproportionate Share of Hospital Funds.

KMC said it used to get payments within two to three months after services were rendered. Now payments are received within six to eight months.

According to KMC, the state owes it $40 to $50 million. Supervisors approved the loan, but vowed to petition the state to reform its payment system.

"I think somehow we need to convey to the people at the state level that this current method is not doing anything for the people of Kern County. That's for sure," said Ray Watson, 4th District Supervisor.

KMC estimates their total loan will be $98 million by the spring. But, by June because of owed payments, they plan to get the loan back down to $60 million.

KMC doesn't estimate paying off the entire loan until the federal health care plan goes into effect in 2014.

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