CAMARILLO : Hospital Accused of Mismanagement

A Camarillo resident accused Pleasant Valley Hospital administrators Wednesday of mismanaging the hospital and misleading the public by claiming that the medical center will not be profitable in the future.

Moe Kadish said the hospital should not merge with St. John's Regional Medical Center in Oxnard, an action officials from both facilities have said is a way to save Camarillo's only hospital.

"We will lose our full-service hospital," said Kadish, 77, member of a hospital board in Alaska and member of a national hospital board since 1978.

Kadish told the City Council on Wednesday that Pleasant Valley administrators have poured $11.4 million of the hospital's money into affiliated corporations since 1983, making it appear that the hospital is in worse financial shape than it really is, he said.

However, hospital spokeswoman Carol Keochekian denied any wrongdoing by Pleasant Valley and said the hospital has not been mismanaged.

She said money that the hospital pays its affiliates goes for such services as human resources, planning and accounting.

Keochekian said Kadish is misreading a report that the hospital filed with the California Health and Welfare Agency.

She also disputed Kadish's prediction that St. John's would close Pleasant Valley. "There's a real need for Pleasant Valley to continue its services," she said.

Kadish said the Camarillo Health Care District should seize control of the hospital by eminent domain, then lease it to a large chain.

That action would keep St. John's from closing Pleasant Valley because it would be competing with itself, he said.

In a separate meeting Wednesday at the Camarillo Health Care District, the district's board voted to spend up to $25,000 to audit Pleasant Valley's financial records.

The district is also going to ask St. John's for its financial reports on the merger.

Hospital officials have said Pleasant Valley is losing money and projected a deficit of $3.5 million to $4 million by 1996.

Camarillo residents and doctors requested the audit to confirm or deny hospital officials' claims that the merger is the only way to keep Pleasant Valley open.

Pleasant Valley Hospital's board of directors voted Tuesday to open the hospital's financial records for the audit.

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