Parents Bemoan Closing of Newport Specialty Hospital
TUSTIN, Calif. (KTLA) — Parents of more than two dozen children and patients at the Newport Specialty Hospital in Tustin are praying for help from anyone who can keep the hospital open for their kids.
The hospital’s owner, Pacific Health, is closing five Southern California medical centers after it was hit with costly fines for medical fraud and labor violations.
Now, the parents of at least 32 “sub-acute” pediatric patients don’t know where their children will receive the long-term specialized treatment they require.
The facilities are set to close within the next few days.
“I’m not going to die in this facility because they were simply forgotten,” said Ronda Gregory, the friend of a patient at Newport Specialty Hospital.
“I’ll do whatever I can, and that’s what I’ve been doing all week to make sure that doesn’t happen.”
Gregory joined other parents and volunteers have who have paid out of their own pockets to buy diapers, wipes, gloves and other supplies the young patients at the hospital need.
Pacific Health representatives have not commented about the closings or what will become of the young patients in their care.
“This is the last pediatric sub-acute facility for these types of children in Orange County,” said Delicia McFarland, the parent of an 18-year-old son, a Newport patient with bran damage.
“Once it closes, there’s no place in Orange County for him to go to,” she said.
Security guards prevented KTLA 5 cameras inside the hospital with parents Sunday.
Joshua and Alexis Kinder’s 3-year-old son Jack is a cardiac and neurology patient at Newport who needs around-the-clock care.
The facility is the only one of its kind in a 40-mile radius that can provide the treatment he needs.
“It’s like finding a needle in a haystack with a bed open,” Joshua Kinder said.
“And we don’t want to have to go through the trouble of finding new people that we can get along with, getting everyone to know how Jack’s care is, what we want from them as far as how to take care of Jack.”
Cal-Optima — an Orange County version of MediCal — is an agency that funnels money to facilities like Newport Specialty Hospital to pay for the specialized care.
Cal-Optima has slowed its payment process, further aggravating the situation in Tustin.