by John R. Fischer
, Senior Reporter | June 04, 2020
Innovations are underway at St. Francis Medical Center following its sale by Verity to Prime Healthcare for over $350 million.
Prime, declared the highest bidder back in April, has invested $47 million in capital and technological improvements in the Lynwood, California-based hospital, including for the hospital’s EMR and health IT system upgrades, and its radiology and cardiology departments.
“Prime’s bid to purchase St. Francis not only ensures St. Francis is able to continue its long-standing legacy of care but will also provide enormous economic and public health benefits to the people of Los Angeles County,” said Rich Adcock, Verity Health CEO, in a statement. “Given Verity’s ongoing operating losses of nearly $450,000 daily and the uncertain operating environments associated with this pandemic, the importance of St. Francis being sold to a stable operator cannot be understated. Prime has also already demonstrated a level of unique and exceptional talent and dedication to the St. Francis mission which will provide stability.”
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The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California in Los Angeles approved the deal
in April, which included a base price of $200 million and $15 million in payroll and benefits for staff.
Holding a reputation for helping financially struggling healthcare systems, Prime has pledged to meet and exceed mandates for access and services by maintaining all essential care, trauma care, and community benefits programs. It also plans to expand service lines based on community needs, and has installed best-in-class technology and systems, such as the integrated EMR platform, Epic; Omnicell systems for automated medication dispensing; and new interventional radiology and cardiology equipment.
Offers of employment have been made to substantially all staff members at St. Francis, with many receiving an increase in their salary. Under the agreement, Verity will keep over $100 million in estimated Medicaid Quality Assurance Fee payments, and will work with Prime to negotiate new collective bargaining agreements with key unions to ensure operational stability.
The acquisition comes as the U.S. and the rest of the world continue to try and flatten the curve of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, with St. Francis as a crucial source of care for the Lynwood and Greater Los Angeles community.
“Prime’s mission of saving hospitals to save lives has never been more important, and we value the heroic and incredible work of staff, physicians and nurses at St. Francis,” said Dr. Sunny Bhatia, Prime Healthcare CEO (California) and corporate chief medical officer, in a statement. “We recognize the critical role St. Francis plays in its community.
Prime employs nearly 40,000 staff and physicians, including more than 10,000 in California alone, and cares for 2.6 million patients annually.