At the Kaweah Health board meeting on October 26, Chief Financial Officer Malinda Tupper reviewed the financial results for the most recent fiscal year. At the meeting, the community was briefed on the hospital’s figures and the main reasons for the discrepancy between income and expenditure. Herbst said there were three main reasons for the shortfall: the significant shortage of nurses, the low number of patients admitted and rising costs from inflation. However, the organization does not file for bankruptcy nor is it acquired by another healthcare system.
In response to the financial crisis, Herbst said it has already laid off 100 employees across the district. Kaweah is careful not to cut additional manpower and has not cut any bedside clinicians, including Registered Nurses (RNs), Certified Practical Nurses (CNAs), Licensed Professional Nurses (LVNs), or anyone who deals directly with patients. Herbst said an additional decision the company made was to close one of its skilled nursing facilities, Kaweah Health Transitional Care. These positions will be eliminated, but those currently filling the positions have the opportunity to fill other vacancies within Kaweah Health.
“What we’re really trying to do is lean the organization and redeploy resources,” Herbst said.