Find another buyer for California hospital, union urges bankrupt Verity Health

A union of more than 97,000 healthcare workers is pressing El Segundo, Calif.-based Verity Health System to find a new buyer for its 384-bed hospital in Lynnwood, Calif., reports.  

In a formal objection, Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West called on California Attorney General Xavier Becerra's office to reject an offer for St. Francis Medical Center from Ontario, Calif.-based Prime Healthcare Services, according to the report.

The union said the sale is "not in the public interest" and is likely to have a "negative impact on the availability and accessibility of healthcare in the community." SEIU also urged Verity to find a new buyer.

Bankrupt Verity announced in April it will sell St. Francis Medical Center to Prime for a net consideration of $350 million. The number includes a $200 million base price and $15 million in payroll and benefits for workers. Prime also agreed to invest $47 million in technology, infrastructure, equipment and system upgrades at St. Francis Medical Center. 

Prime said it can't comment on pending litigation or regulatory matters, and the company is "committed to continuing every one of St. Francis' services, preserving charity care, maintaining community benefit programs, investing millions in capital and ensuring St. Francis is able to continue and strengthen its 75-year legacy and serve the best interests of patients, the community and the public," according to

Prime noted that the union's objection comes amid labor contract talks and said the company "has made generous offers that maintain wages for nearly all current members."

The union contends in a news release that Prime has a "history of deceit, fraud and repeated elimination of health services," according to 

Prime called the union's allegations "unfortunate and untrue."

Prime, a for-profit hospital operator, and the nonprofit Prime Healthcare Foundation have nearly 40,000 employees and own and operate 45 acute care hospitals in 14 states.


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