Anaheim General Hospital closing after years of financial, legal troubles

March 27, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
Anaheim General Hospital announced it is closing after years of financial and legal troubles. The loss of Anaheim General's emergency room and acute care comes at a time when area hospitals are gearing up to serve more people.

Doctors and nurses found out Monday the emergency room would close the following day, and the rest of the hospital will shut down May 23.

Nurse Shannon Ladd still came to work Wednesday, even though the ER is technically closed.

"A lot of us stuck together and said, 'Let's finish. Let's do this right.' What if someone from the community that doesn't know the ER closed comes in with an emergency?" Ladd said.

Ladd says employees were told the hospital is closing because of unavailable finances. She says a lot of her paychecks have bounced.

"We love our job," Ladd said. "We work our 12 hours, we want to get paid for what we do."

Pacific Health Corporation, which owns Anaheim General, has had financial trouble in the past. Just last year, it agreed to pay $16.5 million to the federal government after admitting three of its facilities recruited homeless patients and provided them with unnecessary healthcare services billed to Medicare and MediCal.

Ester Rodriguez, resident of nearby Stanton, just learned of the planned shutdown.

"I brought my daughter here about three years ago, and it was not a real clean hospital, but they waited on her right away," Rodriguez said.

As for the employees still on duty at the hospital, they say the closure will affect the community, and it's already affected the staff's morale.

"We're all just trying to come together and help each other," Ladd said. "It sucks for Anaheim."

In a statement, Pacific Health said, "The new management team at Pacific Health Corporation has taken the difficult decision to suspend services at Anaheim General Hospital as we work to resolve the legacy issues facing our company in this especially challenging economic climate for all healthcare providers. It is our intention to resume services at Anaheim General at some time in the future."


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