Negotiations to save debt-ridden Santa Paula (Calif.) Memorial Hospital by rolling it into Ventura County's public healthcare system collapsed after county officials deemed the deal too risky for taxpayers. The 49-bed private hospital, which is losing about $200,000 a month, had been in talks since June to merge with 208-bed Ventura County Medical Center. But county officials said the plan fizzled after the community hospital refused to disclose certain financial information and negotiators failed to agree on details such as lease terms, taxes and rental rates to protect the county's interests. Forty-two-year-old Santa Paula Memorial, which provides the closest emergency room for more than 50,000 mostly low-income residents, is still in merger talks with another potential partner, 240-bed Community Memorial Hospital, Ventura, Calif. -- by Laura B. Benko
One survival plan falls through for Calif. hospital
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