Los Angeles hospital closes after purchase deal falls through

It took Verity Health less than three weeks to wind down services at St. Vincent Medical Center, a 366-bed hospital in Los Angeles.

El Segundo, Calif.-based Verity, which entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2018, announced Jan. 6 that it planned to close St. Vincent Medical Center. Three days later, the bankruptcy court approved the closure plan.

Over the past two weeks, St. Vincent Medical Center closed its emergency department, discharged and transferred all patients, referred and coordinated follow-up outpatient appointments to other providers, notified kidney transplant patients about the closure of the transplant program and notified governmental agencies of the closure, according to a Jan. 23 status report. Though the hospital has ended all services, about 20 employees will remain at the facility to assist with maintenance, security and any final wind-down measures.

Verity, a nonprofit health system, shut down St. Vincent after a deal to sell four of its hospitals fell through. Officials exhausted all options to keep St. Vincent open before deciding to shut it down, Verity Health CEO Rich Adcock said in a Jan. 6 news release.

Since the closure announcement was made, the city and county of Los Angeles have expressed interest in buying the facility and repurposing it to provide housing for the homeless, according to KCRW.  

"LA County is best suited to take the lead in turning St. Vincent Medical Center into a facility that could help address our need for more affordable housing, interim housing, and wraparound mental and medical health services," County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis said in a news release. "Part of my strategy has been to repurpose underutilized or unused County assets to offset our lack of affordable housing. If we are to effectively combat our homelessness crisis, we must be innovative and creative in our approach."

The closure of St. Vincent does not affect Verity's other three hospitals in California: St. Francis Medical Center in Lynwood, Seton Medical Center in Daly City, and Seton Coastside in Moss Beach.

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