KMC asking for millions in life support from county

KMC asking for millions in life support from county »Play Video
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — Kern Medical Center could be on life support.

Tuesday, the county Board of Supervisors voted down a motion to approve a temporary increase in the general fund loan to the KMC Enterprise Fund in an amount not to exceed $11 million, from $70 million to $81 million.

Supervisor Mike Maggard said, "There's benefit ... to not change our policies because of the mismanagement of others."

Hospital CEO Paul Hensler said the state is $40 million behind on it's payment. Now, the hospital is scrambling to make sure it keeps vendors paid, he said.

"It's not a matter of if they'll be paid, it's when," Hensler told Eyewitness News on Thursday.

He said if the supervisors do not approve the loan, the vendors could refuse to continue services.

The supervisors said they would cover the paychecks for hospital employees, but Maggard stressed an "atmosphere of urgency."

"We haven't pushed every button. We haven't tried every alternative. There are still steps we can take," Maggard said.

Hensler said closing the hospital is a "worst-case scenario."

The decision will be re-examined Monday.