St. Vincent Hospital is in deep trouble. The small rural location has been on a fervent search to come up with $480,000 dollars in order to pay their 155 employees Friday, and as of Thursday night before 4 p.m., they didn't have the money.
Thankfully for that staff, Lake County Commissioners voted unanimously to cover the cost for the month of December, but with a laundry list of requirements that the hospital will have to agree to if they want the cash.
"You failed to do your job, and I think you need to take a long hard look at that, and I think you need to explain to all of us how we got to this point," County Commissioner Kayla Marcella said during a meeting to members of the St. Vincent Medical Board.
The County is now requiring the hospital to go back and confirm they have no liquid assets to use themselves, publicly apologize to their staff, create a monthly report of their finances and give it to them, as well as several other stipulations.
The county pointed out they are not really responsible for the financial predicament the hospital has found itself in, but they have a requirement to the people of Lake County to make sure they have somewhere to go if they have a heart attack. Commissioners stated they will tentatively give money to the hospital based on the POTENTIAL that they collected more treasurer fees in taxes than they were supposed to (which they don't know right now) and after a closer financial audit if the hospital really did owe that money, they pay it back. But for now, it's almost the full amount, just shy of $40,000 or so, and the hospital will talk with the state Thursday night as well to potentially bridge that funding gap.
In a letter to commissioners sent by St. Vincent's board chair, they lay the blame for their current financial situation on the former CEO Brett Antxzak, saying they were not made aware of the financial situation he was leading them into. Antxyzak resigned in the fall of this year.
This is a developing story, and CBS News Colorado will follow the latest developments.
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