Please update your Flash Player to view content.
   These are the stories we are working on for this week's newspaper:
  • Deputy shooting fallout: The children of a Portola man who was shot and killed at Eastern Plumas Health Care last year are seeking millions of dollars in damages.
  • The trout must go: The state is planning to pull all of the brook trout out of a Plumas County lake in order to protect the yellow-legged frog.
  • Inspections delayed: Cal Fire was scheduled to begin property inspections this week, but decided to wait until the public could better understand what the inspectors are doing.

City stands with Eastern Plumas Health Care

Carolyn Carter

  The Portola City Council and Eastern Plumas Heath Care set up a united front against the impending MediCal cuts that are coming to the hospital.

  At the City Council meeting March 27, hospital CEO Tom Hayes updated the council on the fight against Assembly Bill 97, a bill that authorizes a 25 percent cut to MediCal reimbursements and demands retroactive payments from 2011 that the hospital will have to start paying back.

  Hayes and his team at EPHC have been working toward finding a way to ease the pain of these cuts by asking to be exempt from them, or for implementation of a payment option over a course of 10 or 15 years.

  “It is a cash issue,” Hayes said. “How quickly they want to collect the cash will determine how long we can stay open.”

  Hayes spoke to the council about the possibility of having to severely limit the hospital’s services. That included the threat the cuts pose to the skilled nursing facility and how the elderly living at EPHC’s facility are at risk. 

  Hayes explained that the Department of Health Care Services conducted an analysis before the cuts were passed. He said that the department wanted to make sure if the cuts went through each county would still have adequate access to care.

  However, the analysis only grouped the counties by two categories, urban or rural, resulting in Plumas County being matched up with rural counties as far away as Ventura County.

  The Department of Health Care Services concluded that the similarities of the two counties make Ventura County, or a rural county like it, an acceptable place for the patients to go if the skilled nursing facility at EPHC is closed.

  However, Hayes said the hospital has called more than 16 facilities that claim to have open beds. He said of the 16 facilities  that stretch all the way down to Sacramento, only five beds were available.

  He also discussed the unlikely possibility of hospitals or free-standing nursing facilities accepting the patients from EPHC.

  “They’re going to take easy patients that don’t take a lot of work,” he said. “We always take higher care patients because we have rehab physical therapy and occupational therapy. That’s the whole point of distinct-care nursing facilities. We are providing a higher level of skilled nursing care. They’re not going to want to take our patients.”

  When a member of the public asked what would happen to the patients if the distinct-part skilled nursing facility closes at EPHC, Hayes replied, “Ask the governor that question.”

  Hayes has contacted 15 legislators and he said he is pleased he is starting to see a response from them.

  “A month ago I was really disheartened, but now I’m a little bit more encouraged,” he said.

  Council Member Phil Oels asked Hayes what the community could do to help the hospital and he suggested the community continue to write letters to everyone involved: legislators, the governor and the Department of Health and Humans Services.

  He also asked that the public continue to use the hospital’s services to emphasize how important the hospital is to the area.


Sports Headlines

Top Headline

FRC rodeo to open arena for anyone brave enough

FRC rodeo to open arena for anyone brave enough

This cowboy holds on for dear life during last year’s saddle bronc riding portion of the rodeo clinic at Feather River College. For the third year, FRC’s rodeo...


As weather warms up, golf courses open for season

James Wilson Sports Editor 4/11/2014
  Fore! That word is once again heard in the distance in Plumas County. As springtime springs into action, golf courses across...


California Outdoors for the week of 4/11/2014

Carrie Wilson California Department of Fish and Wildlife   Fish and wildlife regulations don’t always keep up with latest technology Hunting with pellet rifles Question:...

Contact Us


Facebook Image
Local Events
Yellow Page Directory
Yellow Pages
Visitors Guide

National Headlines

"); pageTracker._trackPageview(); } catch(err) {}