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    Goodbye Constitution Freedom America by Don Jans

    Ventura County Health Care Agency achieves a net income of $6 million for the year, closes budget gap

    VENTURA, Calif. – In an unaudited, year-end projected financial report set to be released on August 7, 2019, the Ventura County Health Care Agency is reporting a $6 million net income for Fiscal Year 2019. The Health Care Agency initially projected that it would experience a loss of close to $20 million in the same period. The turn-around in the financial performance is primarily due to additional State supplemental funding from prior years.

    “The revised projections in the supplemental funding essentially closed the Agency’s $19 million deficit that was projected earlier this year. In addition, we launched several improvement initiatives that are beginning to see positive results,” said Bill Foley, Ventura County Health Care Agency Director. 

    Earlier this year, the Agency unveiled a new provider management model designed to improve access to primary and specialty care at our clinics. The clinics have seen an increase in the number of patient encounters the past few months, ending the year with an increase of 5,700 visits over the prior year. “These changes, along with improvements in key quality measures as a sign that the organization is on the right path.”

    In order to address future budget gaps, the Agency initiated several improvement initiatives, including an initiative to right-size the staffing at its hospitals. In April, the Agency eliminated all vacant and per-diem positions. In June, 154 employees from the Agency’s Clinics, Hospitals, and Public Health Department were notified that their positions were eliminated. To date, all but 14 of the affected employees have been offered jobs within other departments within the Health Care Agency. 

    According to Foley, “Although painful, we were forced to make difficult cuts to our staffing to bring the hospital in-line with industry standards. These actions were necessary to ensure the long-term viability of our health care system.” 

    “We are very pleased to report that the Health Care Agency has experienced this positive financial performance,” said Mike Powers, County CEO. “However, we cannot be overly optimistic about the future. The health care industry is undergoing constant change, and funding for public hospitals is complex and evolving.  Thus, we need to be more vigilant than ever in managing costs, and ensuring we have programs in place to collect the funds due to the County. While all of these important efforts are underway, I also have confidence that the Health Care Agency, and Ventura County Medical Center and Santa Paula Hospital staff are as focused as ever on providing the highest quality of care for our patients.  I truly believe we have the right team in place to accomplish these goals and that the system is on the right path.”

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