By Sara Hossaini
As Doctors Medical Center wellness director Tracy Taylor walks down the hospital's long white halls, the first thing she mentions is just how strange it feels.
"It is very quiet, it feels very eerie and very different," says Taylor.
DMC reluctantly closes its doors Tuesday after failing to find a solution to its financial woes.
The hospital began shutting things down -- department by department -- over the past couple of weeks after leaders said they had run out of viable options for bridging a stubborn $18-20 million annual deficit -- something they blame on low Medi-Cal and Medicare reimbursement rates.
The emergency room, which began diverting ambulances last August, will close completely at 7 a.m. Tuesday, permanently shutting down all patient care at the hospital. Some business functions, including medical records, will stay open for a few more weeks.