■Adventist Health and UCSF Health sent a joint proposal to a bankruptcy court to take over Madera Community Hospital.
■A judge will decide on Feb. 13 on a competing proposal from American Advanced Management.
■State Sen. Anna Caballero and Assemblywoman Esmeralda Soria support the Adventist-UCSF deal.
With Adventist Health and the University of California San Francisco Health submitting an offer to bankruptcy courts to take over operations of the shuttered Madera Community Hospital, the court now has two dueling offers to consider.
The joint proposal from Adventist and UCSF adds a teaching element to the hospital. State and county officials alike support the offer.
“This partnership among UCSF Health, Adventist Health, and Madera County is an ideal opportunity for Madera County families and residents. The opportunity to reopen Madera Community Hospital will expand access to health care, build a strong workforce, and position Madera County to become a model for healthcare standards in California and the nation,” said state Sen. Anna Caballero, (D-Merced) in a news release.
The Madera County Board of Supervisors and Assemblywoman Esmeralda Soria (D-Merced) also support the proposal from Adventist and UCSF.
But the hospital’s other suitor, American Advanced Management, says they are less than a week away from receiving approval from bankruptcy courts to begin operating. And any change would further delay the more-than-year-long wait of many Maderans to see the hospital reopened.
“When our transaction is approved by the bankruptcy court on February 13 and our management agreement becomes effective, we will immediately begin the process of reopening the hospital, a process that will take four to six months,” a statement from AAM read.
Partnership Makes Operations Financially Viable: Adventist
Madera Community Hospital closed on Jan. 3, 2023.
In November 2023, Adventist withdrew its offer to operate Madera Community, saying it could not find a financially viable model to run the hospital long term.
The partnership with UCSF changed their model. Both organizations had individually looked at operating Madera Community. The academic portion of operations could serve as a draw for staffing.
“As California’s largest provider of rural healthcare with deep metropolitan experience, we look forward to a partnership that creates a much-needed safety net in Madera County,” said Kerry Heinrich, president of CEO of Adventist Health.
Adventist would handle operations while UCSF would provide clinical oversight.
AAM Days Away from Hearing at Bankruptcy Court
Judges will hear AAM’s motion to take over the hospital on Tuesday. Their offer has received approval from both creditors and debtors involved in the process. AAM signed state Attorney General Rob Bonta’s conditions on Wednesday.
If approved, AAM can reopen the hospital within four to six months, according to Matthew Beehler, the company’s chief strategy officer.
“It’s not like this is some theoretical concept of a plan to reopen the hospital, we’re down the road already,” Beehler said.
Opening up beds would take a phased approach, Beehler said. Each of the hospital’s 106 licensed beds would have to be fully staffed before they can be brought online.
The offer from Adventist came as a surprise to Beehler, he said.
Ultimately, the bankruptcy court will have to decide which operator takes over.
“This is not a bid process,” Beehler said. “Our offer has been approved and selected by the interested parties and is awaiting just the bankruptcy court approval on Tuesday.”