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Hoag sues to end Providence affiliation

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Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian, a two-hospital network based in Newport Beach, Calif., is trying to sever its ties to Renton, Wash.-based Providence. 

Hoag announced May 4 that it has filed a lawsuit in an attempt to dissolve its affiliation with Providence. Hoag said it filed the lawsuit after a year of attempted negotiations.

"Hoag must be able to keep local resources and decision making in Orange County to address all the health needs of community members for years to come," Robert T. Braithwaite, president and CEO of Hoag, said. "The current structure of our relationship with Providence, we believe, is not in the best interest of our patients, the community, our physicians and team members."

The link up dates back to 2012 when Hoag entered into an affiliation agreement with Irvine, Calif.-based St. Joseph Health, which has since been acquired by Providence, a 51-hospital system.

"Under the existing affiliation, Hoag's mission and legacy are at risk of being diluted within a large national hospital system," Mr. Braithwaite said. "We must be able to maintain Hoag's unique character and role as Orange County's most trusted health care network, as well as keep local control of community assets."

Regarding Hoag's lawsuit, officials from Providence released the following statement:

"Now, at a time when all hospitals and health systems are battling the COVID-19 pandemic, the Hoag leaders took legal action to sever its relationship with Providence for reasons that remain unclear," Erik G. Wexler, chief executive of Providence St. Joseph Health's Southern California region and CEO of Covenant Health Network, said. "Our relationship has been strong since 2012. The Hoag leaders' so-called 'realignment' plan would negatively impact patient care, diminish resources and medical expertise available to Orange County."

Mr. Wexler said the parties have made progess since 2012 toward fulfilling the original vision of the partnership, and that Providence remains focused on continuing to work with Hoag. 

"We will remain steadfast in our commitment to providing quality, compassionate care to every individual we serve, and we will not be distracted by the misguided and potentially costly legal actions by the Hoag leaders," Mr. Wexler said. "We are disappointed that they filed this complaint and we believe it is without merit." 

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