Prime makes offer to prevent California hospital from closing

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Ontario, Calif.-based Prime Healthcare Foundation proposed a deal that could save the aging Providence St. Mary Medical Center in Apple Valley, Calif., from closing, according to the Daily Press

The 65-year-old hospital is slated to close because it doesn't meet California's new seismic requirements slated to take effect in 2030. The hospital's current owner, Providence Southern California, is seeking approval to close the hospital and partner with Oakland, Calif.-based Kaiser Permanente to build a replacement 260-bed hospital in Victorville, Calif. St. Mary's would close after the new hospital is built.

Prime Healthcare Foundation, which operates 14 hospitals, said it is willing to save St. Mary's from closing by contributing at least $100 million to upgrade and modernize the facility to meet seismic requirements. 

"Our mission of saving hospitals leads us to offer support or partnership to the Town of Apple Valley, Providence and all stakeholders to maintain St. Mary as an acute care hospital at its current location," Fred Ortega, senior director of government relations at Prime Healthcare, said during a Nov. 23 meeting hosted by the Justice Department to get feedback about the proposed changes to St. Mary's and the new facility. 

Prime said the deal would save jobs and allow St. Mary's to continue offering 24-hour emergency services, surgical services and labor and delivery. 

"I'm intrigued by Prime Healthcare's financial offer, which sounds great on the surface, but right now, there are more questions than answers," council member Scott Nassif told the Daily Press after the meeting. "But I am excited to see that someone sees the market value in continuing to provide medical services in Apple Valley."

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