- The California Attorney General's Office this week will hold hearings on the proposed acquisition by Prime Healthcare of the six struggling non-profits currently operated by Daughters of Charity. The deal must be approved by state AG Kamala Harris, with a decision expected in February.
- Public hearings for the two Southern California hospitals will be held Monday and Tuesday, while the hearings for the four Northern California hospitals will be held Wednesday through Friday.
- Under the terms of the proposed deal, Prime would assume $350 million in pension debt; pay off over $400 million of the cash-strapped chain's tax-exempt bonds and other debt; as well as keep the hospitals open for at least five years and sink $150 million into upgrades. Prime would also be required to retain the majority of the hospital's 7,600 jobs.
The controversy surrounding this deal continues. The SEIU-UHW continues to fight the acquisition fiercely, in November accusing Prime of overbilling Medicare by $93 million—allegedly by keeping patients overnight as inpatients when they could have been on observation status.
Daughters of Charity themselves point to the risk of closure in the absence of AG approval, probably the only certainty in this ongoing feud: Daughters saw its credit rating downgraded to a B- after a loss of nearly $75 million in 2013, which followed a separate $59.5 million loss in 2012. The deal is not assured, however. In 2011, the CA attorney general blocked a different deal between Prime and Victor Valley Community Hospital.
"Our hospitals continue to lose money and are in danger of closing or filing for bankruptcy," said Daughters CEO Robert Issai. "Prime is not just the right choice, it is the only choice to save our hospitals."
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