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Prime sells California hospital

Ontario, Calif.-based Prime Healthcare is selling its 302-bed Alvarado Hospital Medical Center to UC San Diego Health for $200 million.

The systems are working to close the deal in December, according to a news release shared with Becker's.

The approximately 800 employees of the San Diego hospital learned of the transaction in a companywide announcement Oct. 9, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.

Patty Maysent, CEO of UC San Diego Health, told the local news outlet that Alvarado Hospital will function as the academic health system's "east campus" and will be available as a new option for existing and new patients. She said the system is planning to add beds at its current locations, but that capacity is seven or eight years away. 

"We've got to solve a lot of capacity problems, and we can't afford to wait that long," Ms. Maysent told the San Diego Union-Tribune, noting that the cost of buying Alvarado Hospital at less than $1 million per bed is a "massive" cost difference from building new.

Prime acquired Alvarado Hospital in 2010 from Plymouth Health, a privately held, Los-Angeles-based company that owned and operated the hospital since 2007. Since 2010, 45-hospital Prime has invested more than $90 million into the hospital, according to the system's news release.

"With significant investments and dedicated service to our patients over the past 13 years, Alvarado Hospital Medical Center has now reached the point where divestiture to a world-class academic institution like UC San Diego Health, will lead to a new era for this award-winning community hospital," Kavitha Bhatia, MD, chief medical officer of strategy for Prime, said in a news release from the system. "We are proud of the care that has been provided and the legacy that will continue as UC San Diego Health expands access to specialized care, while preserving and building on Alvarado's 50-year history."

Alvarado Hospital was established in 1972. It employs 800 with a medical staff of 300. Hospital employees will immediately transition to UC San Diego Health employment, according to a news release from the academic health system.

"More than 700 positions will be transitioned to employment at UC San Diego Health," Tonya Jackman Hampton, EdD, chief human resources officer for UC San Diego Health, said in the release. "Multiple employee forums will be held to help explain the opportunities and benefits of employment at the university and to help future team members navigate the application process." 


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