Senator Jean Fuller, Tulare Healthcare District Board President Kevin Northcraft (Right) and Vice-chairman Mike Jamaica (Left). Picture was taken following the JLAC hearing.
Written by Donald A. Promnitz
An audit will be conducted amidst the legal issues surrounding Healthcare Conglomerate Associates (HCCA), Tulare Regional Medical Center (TRMC) and the Tulare Local Health Care District.
State Sen. Jean Fuller (R-Bakersfield) sent a letter requesting the audit to the Join Legislative Audit Committee (JLAC) in early January. The audit was approved Tuesday.
“This audit is necessary to ensure local bonds intended to support a community hospital were used appropriately, efficiently and effectively,” Fuller said in a statement.
The request includes an outline of the flow of the District’s 2005 General Obligation Bond money of $85 million to HCCA and how it was spent on TRMC, along with what oversight was in place. There is a further request to evaluate the management structures of the three entities.
Fuller has also asked to ascertain what problems caused TRMC’s closure, along with the recommended procedures so that TRMC can reopen.
TRMC closed temporarily in October amidst financial problems and issues with HCCA, which managed the hospital. The hospital serves approximately 75,000 people.
“The unanimous approval of our state audit request affirms the state’s interest in the people’s right to know how their money is spent,” said Kevin Northcraft, board president of Tulare Healthcare District, in a statement. “The community of Tulare owes a great thank you to our State Senator Jean Fuller who made the request and championed it to its approval today.”