Long before the pandemic, hospitals and their services were under strain. But throughout the state, some hospitals are now at risk of closing for good, which would leave thousands of Californians without basic access to healthcare. In many rural counties, local community hospitals are the only option for both primary care and life-saving emergency services. The abrupt closure of Madera County’s only such hospital is the first in what could become a string of hospital closures, requiring remaining facilities to pick up more patients at a time when staff and resources are stretched thin. We’ll talk about this vulnerability in California’s healthcare system and what is being done to remedy it.
One Hospital Closed. How Many More Will Follow?
Three ambulances are parked in front of the emergency room at Childrens Health of Orange County. Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2022. (Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times/Getty Images)
Kristof Stremikis, director of market analysis and insight, California Health Care Foundation
Carmela Coyle, President & CEO, California Hospital Association - CHA represents the interests of more than 400 hospitals and health systems in California.
Glenn Melnick, health economist, professor and director, Center for Health Financing, Policy and Management, Price School of Public Policy, University of Southern California
Luis Abrishamian, attending physician, Department of Emergency Medicine, Providence Torrance