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After 3 deals, California has 7 fewer for-profit hospitals

Seven California hospitals that were owned by two of the largest for-profit health systems in the U.S. are now in the hands of nonprofit systems. 

Six were owned by Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare and the other was owned by Nashville, Tenn.-based HCA Healthcare. 

Five of the hospitals changing hands were bought by academic health systems. Tenet sold four hospitals to Orange, Calif.-based UCI Health, and HCA sold another to Los Angeles-based UCLA Health. 

Tenet sold its Pacific Coast Network, which includes four hospitals in Southern California and their associated outpatient locations, in a $975 million deal with UCI Health. The hospitals coming under the UCI Health umbrella are Fountain Valley Regional Hospital, Lakewood Regional Medical Center, Los Alamitos Medical Center and Placentia-Linda Hospital. The medical centers also include a network of surgery centers and other outpatient locations.   

When the deal was announced Feb. 2, Tenet CEO Saum Sutaria, MD, said the local communities will "benefit from the nationally recognized advancements, medical knowledge, research, and community focus that UCI Health brings as an innovative academic health system."

Following the March 27 closure of the deal, UCI Health President and CEO Chad Lefteris told Becker's that the addition of the four community hospitals "gives us the opportunity to go test some new innovative things in a completely different setting than what we've previously had." He also said the acquisition will help the health system improve access to care and expand unrestricted access to care in the region.

"This is going to make it easier for patients to get seen and to have the highest level of quality and best outcomes," he said. "This acquisition allows us to do this literally overnight, as the access points have multiplied. That is a huge opportunity. Additionally, it increases our ability to accept more community hospital transfers of patients who need higher levels of care."

HCA sold the West Hills Hospital and Medical Center and its related assets to UCLA in a deal that closed March 28. The Los-Angeles-based community hospital sits on a 14-acre site that UCLA Health said in a March 29 news release will provide future opportunities to expand care.  

Johnese Spisso, president of UCLA Health and CEO of the UCLA Hospital System, said the acquisition will provide "critically needed inpatient hospital capacity in the UCLA Health system to serve more patients who require highly specialized care and treatments." The system will develop a long-term plan to upgrade the property and optimize use of the additional capacity.  

The other two hospitals were bought by Roseville, Calif.-based Adventist Health from Tenet in a $550 million deal that closed March 29. The hospitals changing hands are Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center in San Luis Obispo and Twin Cities Community Hospital in Templeton, along with their related provider practices and imaging centers. That deal, as well as the agreement with UCI Health, also involves contracts with Tenet's Conifer Health Solutions subsidiary to provide revenue cycle management services. 

As of 2022, the most recent year for which data is available, 23.9% of California's hospitals were owned by for-profit systems, according to data from KFF. California had the 18th highest percentage of for-profit owned hospitals as of that year.

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