ESCONDIDO, Calif. — From a shortage of nurses to hospitals in danger of closing, the healthcare industry is getting hit hard.

Hospitals are getting creative to navigate these challenging times. One hospital is throwing big bucks at the crisis.

Palomar Hospital is now offering a $100,000 incentive over a three-year period to recruit and retain nurses.

“It’s also an opportunity for us to hire some of the best nurses maybe in the region or across the country by offering them a $100,000 over three years,” Palomar Health CEO Diane Hansen said.

It’s part of an effort to attract and keep talent as the nation deals with a nursing shortage.

“With the pandemic, a lot of nurses exited the profession, whether it was burnout from working so hard during the pandemic or people just choosing to retire,” Hansen said.

This comes as another healthcare industry report found one in five California hospitals are in danger of closing because they are losing billions.

“You will see is an erosion of healthcare,” said David Simon with California Hospital Association. “That is reduced services. One of the first services that is often cut is maternity care and this can lead to things like care deserts.”

The California Hospital Association says Medicare and Medi-Cal patients are their biggest concern because hospitals only get reimbursed 74-75% for the cost of their care. 

“15 million Californians who rely on Medi-Cal for their healthcare coverage, California pays 74 cents for every dollar that it costs to care for patients,” Simon said. “For Medicare it’s about a penny better 75 cents for every dollar.”

The association sent a letter to the governor asking for $1.5 billion in lifeline funding for Medi-Cal and they are asking for the governor to restructure its reimbursement rates.

“It will be patients and communities that will pay the highest price,” Simon said.

FOX 5 reached out to several nurse organizations but have yet to hear back. Meanwhile, the Governor’s Office says it is working with the Legislature to support hospitals in financial distress and said more details will be coming soon.