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Economic Downturn Takes Toll on California Hospitals
Date:1/7/2009

ardiology and obstetrics programs, subacute and psychiatric units and skilled nursing beds. Staff layoffs and pay cuts also are being reported.

The freezing of the credit markets is proving to be another significant hurdle for many California hospitals. More than 25 percent of hospitals report the inability to access financing for construction, remodeling, equipment purchases or working capital, according to the CHA survey. This has resulted in 41 percent of hospitals halting construction projects or equipment purchases.

The ability of California hospitals to meet the state's seismic upgrade requirements also is in jeopardy because of the economic crisis, with 38 percent reporting that they will be unable to meet the 2013 and 2015 deadlines.

The faltering economy also is beginning to take its toll on the ability of hospitals to remain viable contributors to the state's financial structure. Almost 70 percent of hospitals report that the deterioration of investment holdings has had a moderate or significant impact on their overall financial condition, with a number of hospitals concerned about their ability to comply with bond covenants related to cash and liquidity measures.

"It's clear from the survey results that the economic challenges facing all Americans are also affecting the hospitals who provide care to us when we are sick or injured," Dauner said. "When our hospitals are at risk, we are all in danger."

A full copy of the special report, called "A Report on California Hospitals and the Economy," can be found on CHA's website - www.calhospital.org

CHA, based in Sacramento, is the statewide leader representing the interests of more than 450 hospitals and health systems in California.


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SOURCE California Hospital Association
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