Los Angeles hospital to close, lay off 638 employees

Pacific Alliance Medical Center in Los Angeles will close Dec. 11. The hospital, which has provided care for more than 150 years, cited the costs of retrofitting its facilities to meet California's seismic standards as the reason for the closure.

California law requires medical facilities in the state to meet certain seismic standards by Jan. 1, 2030, and Pacific Alliance Medical Center said it lacks a financially responsible way to make the required updates.

"PAMC does not own the land on which our hospital sits, and the owner is unwilling to sell the land to us," the hospital said in a statement to Becker's Hospital Review. "The hospital building does not meet current California seismic standards, and it is not economically viable for us to invest nearly $100 million to build a hospital on land that we would not own."

Although a California Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act notice indicates all 638 of the hospital's employees will be laid off, PAMC said the facility will "remain appropriately staffed until it closes."

"We did not take this decision lightly, and we are committed to doing everything we can to ease the transition for affected employees," the hospital said. "We will work with other local hospitals to help find employment opportunities for our impacted staff."

PAMC, which ended the first quarter of fiscal year 2017 with a $12.2 million net loss, is not the only California hospital closing due to the cost of meeting the new seismic requirements. Sacramento, Calif.-based Sutter Health will close Alta Bates Summit Medical Center in Berkeley in 2030, as it is not feasible for the hospital to be retrofitted by the last day of 2029. The hospital's services will be consolidated at Sutter's hospital in Oakland, Calif.

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