Hollywood nursing home for stars to close amidst financial turmoil

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The Motion Picture & Television Fund, which helps provide healthcare services for Hollywood's on-screen and off-screen talent, will be shutting the doors of its nursing home and hospital, the organization announced this week.

The MPTF will phase out its acute-care hospital and long-term care facility in favor of more community-based programs, according to a statement from the organization. Approximately 100 elderly patients will be moved to area long-term care facilities, and both the nursing home and hospital will be closed by October, the organization said. The MPTF has been suffering operating losses of $10 million annually due in part to low federal reimbursement rates. There are also rumors that chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg's substantial financial losses in a Ponzi scheme run by disgraced Wall Street financier Jack Madoff are to blame for the financial woes. (However, an MPTF spokesman has said that the decision to close the doors was made before the Madoff scandal hit, and had nothing to do with Katzenberg's losses, the Contra Costa Times reported.)

Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford and other Hollywood luminaries founded the fund in 1921 as a monetary relief pool for actors and crew who had fallen on hard times. Now that the fund itself has fallen on hard times, long-time volunteers at the nursing home are wondering who will help the MPTF, the Times reports.