Attributing it to a “herculean” team effort, Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital interim CEO Mary Casillas said the Hollister, Calif.-based hospital now has enough funds to operate through late summer.
Previously, officials projected the hospital would run out of funds in April. The improved timeline is the result of cost savings, as well as negotiations with MediCal, Medicare and Anthem that have resulted in a “better-than-expected cash position leading into the second quarter of 2023,” according to a March 9 news release from the hospital.
The improved cash position comes after the hospital received its first confidential letter of interest from a prospective partner/buyer, according to the release. Several other organizations are conducting due diligence activities.
“Our team has begun the process of reviewing the first [letter of intent] and we have been alerted that there may be more [letter of intent] submitted in the coming weeks,” Ms. Casillas said in the release. “The importance of finding the right partner or buyer is crucial for our community as it will pave the way to access to critical healthcare services here in San Benito County.
Ms. Casillas previously said a strategic partner or the sale of some or all of its facilities to a larger system is the best way for the financially troubled hospital to maintain its current level of services.
The hospital’s board of directors on Nov. 4 passed a resolution declaring a fiscal emergency, which granted administrators the authority to file Chapter 9 bankruptcy if and when necessary. Hospital officials have attributed its financial troubles to several factors, including high inflation, reduced reimbursement from Medicare and Anthem Blue Cross, as well as the lingering effects from the COVID-19 pandemic.