March 11, 2015

Health Giant Prime Drops Plan to Buy Calif. Hospital Chain

For-profit medical network Prime Healthcare has abandoned its proposed purchase of a financially distressed nonprofit hospital system in California, blaming the collapse of the $843 million deal on terms imposed by state Attorney General Kamala Harris, the San Jose Mercury News and the Los Angeles Times report.

Ms. Harris conditioned her approval of the merger on Prime pledging to keep the six Daughters of Charity hospitals in the Los Angeles and San Francisco Bay areas open for at least 10 years and match current levels of charity care. The Ontario, Calif.-based firm, which runs 34 medical centers in several states, said the terms were "so burdensome and restrictive" that it could not "make the changes needed to operate and save these hospitals."

Daughters of Charity CEO Robert Issai sided with the attorney general, saying her conditions "were very much workable." He said the Catholic network, which serves a number of low-income communities and has been losing $10 million a month, would seek another buyer but could end up filing for bankruptcy.