Tulare Healthcare Board Members hold emergency meeting, hospital near bankruptcy

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A hospital used to treating emergencies-- is now sinking deeper into its own. (KFSN)

A hospital used to treating emergencies-- is now sinking deeper into its own. One day after hearing about Tulare Regional Medical Center's bleak economic forecast, nurses, and physicians found out they were not going to be paid.

"Very depressed, I guess is the best way to describe it to you, upset," said former employee who did not want to be identified.

He says the hospital owes him tens of thousands of dollars. He says he could not afford to wait around and quit his position Friday morning.

"If they drop money in my bank account in my bank-- I'll be back, I'll keep checking, but it's doubtful."

Healthcare Conglomerate Associates, the company contracted to oversee Tulare Regional Medical Center, dropped the bombshell Thursday during a staff meeting.

Board President Kevin Northcraft says the HCCA never told them the situation was so dire that they could not make payroll.

"They treated us like a mushrooms, kept us in the dark and fed us bs," said Northcraft.

The board is currently holding an emergency meeting--to discuss next steps. Options include filing for chapter 9 bankruptcy, taking out loans, or closing down the hospital.

"The community has come together and unfortunately it's not for HCCA and I think those are the changes we all want to occur to bring back our public hospitals," said Northcraft.

Meanwhile, area hospitals like Kaweah Delta have put their staffs on notice. They have taken in four patients from Tulare Regional Medical Center and are prepared for another influx, if a shutdown does occur.

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