Hospital workers in California are rallying against the possible sale of six Catholic medical centers to a commercial health network that critics say has a history of cutting staff and patient services after buying financially distressed facilities, writes the Los Angeles Times.
A protest Friday at St. Vincent Medical Center in Los Angeles targeted Prime Healthcare Services, a for-profit firm that runs 27 hospitals in California and elsewhere. The Service Employees International Union contends Prime will eliminate pensions and other benefits if it acquires the Daughters of Charity Health System.
The nonprofit group is seeking a buyer willing to take on all six of its hospitals the Los Angeles and San Francisco Bay areas. Neither Daughters of Charity nor Prime would comment on any pending deal, but Steve Valentine, head of health-care consultancy the Camden Group, said Prime "has the better deal on the table right now" to buy the smaller chain.
Prime spokesman Edward Barrera said the company aims "to save hospitals allowing them to continue to serve communities" and has never closed or put into bankruptcy a facility it acquired.