HCCA To Leave Tulare Regional By Nov. 27 – Or Sooner

Healthcare Conglomerate Associates’ (HCCA) days in Tulare are numbered, some three years after the company entered into a contract with the Tulare Local Healthcare District.

Hon. Judge Rene Lastreto ll ruled Wednesday that the company’s contract with the district could be rejected and terminated as soon as an alternate management company was lined up; or, alternatively, on November 27.

Finding An Alternative

If a management alternative isn’t found by the 27th, the hospital could temporarily suspend its license, as the California Department of Public Health has previously stated that any management of the hospital must be approved by the department first.

As of October 19, the department hadn’t received an application to manage Tulare Regional Medical Center from any company.

Craig Rust, an attorney for the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), had previously stated that any application may take “a few days.”

The current leading alternatives for a management company in Tulare would be a partnership between Community Medical Centers and Sante Health, both of Fresno.

CMC will use “unencumbered buildings and land” as collateral for a working loan

Under a plan submitted to the bankruptcy court — though deemed insufficient by CDPH — the partnered companies would attempt to hire existing staff and providers, and work to ensure adequate staffing.

Reaction

“We are going to do what’s in the best interest of the patients of the district,” Dr. Benny Benzeevi, HCCA’s CEO, told the Voice after the ruling

He declined to comment further.

Mike Jamaica and Xavier Avila, members of the district’s board of directors, were at the hearing.

“We’re going to serve the people of the district as they deserve to be served,” Avila said. “[The order] exceeded what we had hoped.”

Both Avila and Jamaica stated the board would attempt to bring the hospital’s employees — currently those of HCCA — back to the employment of the hospital district. HCCA currently employs approximately 525 employees to work at Tulare Regional Medical Center.

“We will be asking employees if they would like to re-submit applications,” Jamaica said.

Judge’s Order

The judge in the case dismissed many of the arguments from Healthcare Conglomerate Associates’ attorneys, Mark Levinson and Hagop Bedoyan, before making his final ruling.

The company had stated that the board members had a clear agenda when they were elected to remove HCCA by any means necessary — and that the rejection of the contract was thus a business decision made in bad faith.

“If the court assumes all of that,” Lastreto asked, “is pursuing an agenda by an elected official capriciousness — and does that make a decision unsound?”

It did not, he stated.

“The consequences of the board’s decision belong to the district’s electorate,” he stated.

“Sound business judgement,” he continued, “does not mean perfect business judgement.”

Lastreto stated that although the contract was rejected, that would not preclude the company from seeking its termination fee as an unsecured claim in bankruptcy court.

He also noted that while the contract isn’t up until the 27th, HCCA could unilaterally exit their obligations sooner.

“If HCCA chooses not to perform, it’s up to them,” he said.

The Tulare Local Healthcare District’s board of directors will meet Wednesday, Oct. 25 at 6:30pm for a regularly scheduled board meeting.

In Depth: Tulare Regional Medical Center

43 thoughts on “HCCA To Leave Tulare Regional By Nov. 27 – Or Sooner

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    • Some coworkers pointed out to me what you said “Mr M”. You sure are obsessing about Kim and I . You’ve got some big balls hiding behind that computer typing this stuff. Maybe you’d like to meet in person and we can discuss this like rational adults, instead of talking shit on social media. I’m tired of the Internet games.

      I’m here to serve the community, not to fight on the Internet. I support the hospital and our great staff.
      Grow up already.

  1. Mr M, we don’t need anyone badmouthing employees of the hospital and being devisive at a pivotal moment like this. Current employees who may have supported HCCA in the past should be welcomed with open arms if they still wish to be part of the future.
    Teresa and Kim just happen to be excellent RNs and I hope they wish to stay and support our cause now. As much as I disagreed with Benzeevi, the last time I saw Teresa, I got a hug from her as she has always been my friend.
    I will not tolerate any attack on our employees, save it for Benny and his HCCA cronies.

    • Mr. Cotta. I also want the badmouthing to end but did not know Ms. B. until I asked someone who she was when I overheard her commenting on our new board members and their plans for the hospital in a VERY negative slanderous way. I have observed her and her coherts and I am so disappointed in them. I have seen her work the room with her hugs and then throw accusations at the same time. According to other fellow employees she may need to earn our trust and their trust again. I guess everyone deserves a second chance?

      • Again, if you want the badmouthing to end, then quit doing it. Those supporters of HCCA were very passionate and vocal, but their hearts were in the right place. If they choose to stay, I welcome them, Benzeevi and his upper management can take a hike.

        • Greg I know your heart is in the right place however Those two have badgered co workers on the clock about the virtues of Hcca that time could have been better spent. Were their hearts in the right place? Or were they benefiting? As I recall they were Bouliki lovers too maybe I’m wrong but why did they automatically throw their hat into HCCA ring was it to stay in the inner circle ?or are they just bad judges of character?why couldn’t they see what most people including you saw? I wish them no Ill but you and I both know it was ok for them to spew their negative opinions of the board I guarantee that would not be the case if the shoe was on the other foot! Good employees go to work do their jobs and keep their opinions to themselves on the employers time. I’m sorry if you think this is bad mouthing I call it being truthful.

          • “Justice”, you need stop with your mouth. Use your real name and let’s debate. I don’t badger anyone at work. If coworkers ask me what’s going on with the hospital and I have an opinion, I give it. If that person doesn’t like what they hear, it’s there perogative. Personally , I’d rather NOT be asked at work. But people know I have no problem saying how I feel. So don’t call me a Bolouki lover. I told Bolouki to his face, that some staff don’t like him because they feel he’s arrogant. Just because I don’t walk around talking shit about Administration like some people, I’m called a “lover” of them.
            Grow the hell up!

      • Really? “Grandma of 8”

        What exactly do you think you heard?

        Private message me on Facebook and we can discuss this, if you don’t want to mention it here. Since there is freedom of speech and it’s been ok for everyone on Citizens For Hospital Accountability to talk bad and accuse staff of things that are “slanderous” and trying to ruin people’s reputation, but if I say something, it isn’t ok?

        If you’re talking about Board meetings back around Measure I, that was almost a YEAR ago… I’ve already publically apologized for things I’ve said. I haven’t talked to any Board supporters or at Board meetings in months. Maybe you don’t hear those things though. Again, I stand by what I say, So let me know if you want to talk off social media.

        • Hmm “grow the hell up”. Not sure where that is coming from. But I want to thank you for just confirming what numerous staff and a DR have always thought ,in your attempt into explain why you weren’t a “ boulki” lover you mentioned that you told boulki to his face that some staff members thinks he is arrogant ( narcissist more like it). Excuse please the juvenile term but you were a tattletale pure and simple why would you Even tell him that? there was no need He didn’t care what the staff thought . But I agree it’s water under the bridge at this point and I truly wish you well. I never questioned your patient care it was difficult to see the staff suffer under these two crooks ( my opinion) and to see you two or three defend them: For 5 yrs we have been lead by incompetence at least you were able to express how you felt the rest of us weren’t for fear of retaliation: so now we speak you had your right to your opinion and so do we: Like you I want the best for this community and our patients even if I don’t reside here: topic closed

    • Thank You Greg.

      I’ve worked with you my entire nursing career. You and I have proven that we can agree to disagree in a civil way. We can be the bigger people and not banter with personal attacks on social media. We all want what’s best for the hospital, our community and staff.

  2. If they start attacking employees regardless what side they were taking , we are going to have a huge problem and the entire board should be replaced!
    I don’t trust any of them.

    • The new board will not be replaced because if not for them we would never get our hospita back. You are just like the old regime that caused this pronlem.. Please do us a favor and disappear.

    • Attacks did happen and it was ugly both ways… but enough is enough already…. but people still continue. The safety and care of my patients is my priority.

      You may not agree with Dr Benzeevi but he’s still a person, a father, a husband. Don’t call him Bensleazy, that’s just wrong. Just like when people accuse Dr Kumar of going to strip clubs… WRONG. How would they know he was there if they weren’t there themselves?

      People need to stop already!

  3. Should we trust some upper management including some nursing mangement who made poor decisions that put patient lives at risk(absolutely not). Should they be rehired no, but all the everyday employees have done the best they could with the situation HCCA placed them in. They didn’t derserve what they have been put through. Doctors on staff need to be re-evaluated and all contracts including MedFlow which is also owned by Dr Benzeevi.

    • I agree. I worked there and saw management making poor decisions based on supporting HCCA and they were compensated with over inflated salaries. Many people can speak to this because it’s the truth. I hope the new company is careful when offering jobs to employees that are currently employed at HCCA. Most are good but bad apples are there.

  4. Mickey, if you don’t trust anyone on the current board, then you don’t know them, they are good, honest people. They will be spending their time now trying to unite the employees and ridding the hospital of the drama that has been the norm over the past few years. This is a new beginning for this hospital.

  5. I hope everyone is ready to not get paid tomorrow.

    But don’t worry Benny will get paid (it’s in the contract).

  6. Basically, too many employees relative to the work they do there. Benny gets a premium on them being fully paid no matter what they do. Its been easy money for those without a clue or desparate enough to stay put. These employees will soon wish Benny was still there because in the near future the reality economics will kick in and they wont be needed at all.

  7. It’s not fair to bad mouth the upper clinical staff, they have been the ones holding this hospital together, working till all hours trying to get staff, and supplies and keep Allen and Benny from closing our hospital. The clinical staff have been juggling several full time staff positions due to the disregard of the CEO, CFO and the one time staff recruiter Nancy who closed critical job positions like the quality / Risk manager, combined the CNO position with the director of ICU, PICU, Medsurg 1 & 2, Nursing supervisors, and cafeteria, combined director of radiology with cath lab, and clinical lab, combined the director of respiratory / sleep lab with security, and engineering. We were all impacted by these crooks and have been painfully, waiting for the day when they would be taken out! Finally today is that day and we celebrate with all of the Tulare County

    • To ex former employee: the staff that stayed are not desperate they are dedicated, knowledgeable RNs, CNAs, RTs ect. we are at minimum staffing at the present because of staff leaving due to the mismanagement. We are all able to go get another job, but we don’t want to, most of us have seen better days when we were making money and we had doctors, supplies and great staffing. We have put our hard work into making this hospital a great place and we are not ready to see it ho down

      • Many of the employees have contemplated leaving many times, we watched and prayed for this new Board as they fought for us and this community many had their names and families dragged threw the mud, we trusted them when they told us to hang in there and we have …. we aren’t quitters it would have been easier to quit than to fight back by showing up to work when we dont even know if we are going to receive a paycheck it takes guts to trust that things will get better when your standing in the bank line hoping your check can be cashed ,it takes guts to go home and stay upbeat so your wife and kids won’t see how worried you are that the bills can be paid …. it takes guts to trust the truth will come out ……and I think I speak for most of the employees when I say. Thank you new board for having the guts to fight for us and this community! We look forward to a brighter future and honorable management deviod of greed and unholy alliances…….

        • I agree 100% with you “Get it straight” Most employees stayed because we believe in Tulare, we know things will get better. Tulare is a family, and no one can break a family. Once a family always a family. Stay strong Tulare! We will come back stronger!!

  8. Plus, I’m sick of hearing how the hospital is Over staffed. Yes this is true, however it’s only true because HCCA quite literally ran all the doctors in the area out (with their patients) in the last year. HCCA’s mismanagement is so great that an ER wait in Visalia is now close to 10 hours. And that’s because HCCA has created such a toxic environment for to Tulare’s Physicians to practice medicine in.

    Now that HCCA is gone, the local tualare Physicians will begin to recommend their patients back to Tulare hospital.

    HCCA’s contact is done, next we need a criminal investigation!!!

  9. Tulare tax payer hahaha
    It is so obvious that you are one of them…..I am not going anywhere. It is not ok to disrespect employees just because they don’t agree with you…..We already kbow how you think. All your posts are the same!!!
    I am not going anywhere 😉

  10. Gregg, I hope you are right. But if you read the comments from some board members and still voted for Avila……Sorry, that was a red flag for me!

  11. By now everyone knows you by your posts. No one will take you serious so keep sayind stupid things. Mr.Irrelevent.

  12. Ya, we all know how self sacrificing all the remaining TRMC HCCA employees are. Working for peanuts and forcing yourself to look the other way when they see compromised patient care all around you. Its not the low level staff. Its the managers and a few doctors who voted with their feet and STAYED with Benny and Kumar and by doing so they are facilitators of this grand theft. Out with all of ye, cowards.

  13. Top priority is forensic audit of books.

    We also demand that only board certified doctors be allowed to work here

    Good riddance Benny the thief

  14. SAVE our public hospital, citizens accountability is closing down the hospital?
    Wow, I am confused!!! What a joke!
    They said multiple times this was not going to happen.

    • No Benny was closing the hospital or did you not get the memo. Maybe your WARN letter is in the mail. The board is placing it in temporary suspension so it won’t be permanently closed.

      You can still continue to be the HCCA rah rah squad but his time is done and he definitely doesn’t care in the least for the staff.

  15. Board’s move to apply for temporary suspension is a smart anticipatory move to obtain immunity against permanent shut down as conspired by HCCA.

  16. Well stated KD. Mickey stop trying continue the glorification of your idol Dr Benzeevi. You need to grow up and except democracy at it’s finest. Stop trying to interfere with the healing and moving forward together as a unity front to turn this hospital around. If you are such a strong believer in HCCA, please feel to follow them to their next victim we don’t need your attitude during this difficult time.

  17. May all the hate of people of Tulare stop. Praying for the negative Citizens to stop their hate comments and keep our hospital open with good Strong leaders.

  18. I have read all the post and all but a few are attacking one another. Please remember this temporary suspension has impacted not just the employees, but their families as well. The community is also suffering because of it. They need support and a speedy reopening. Then the healing can begin for everyone.

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