Nearly One-Third of State Legislators Call on Attorney General to Reject Sale of Daughters of Charity to Prime Healthcare

[Nov. 13, 2014] OAKLAND, Calif. – Public opposition to the pending sale of six community hospitals in California continues to grow as nearly one-third of the California Legislature has now formally urged California Attorney General Kamala Harris to block the sale of Daughters of Charity Health System to Prime Healthcare.

In addition, healthcare workers today unveiled a TV ad exposing Prime’s attempt to get Medi-Cal to pay for a Bentley, a Beverly Hills house, and a personal helicopter for the company’s CEO. The ads will be broadcast for seven days in Los Angeles County, Santa Clara County and San Bernardino County.

“As the public learns more about how often Prime Healthcare breaks its promises and undermines patient care across California, it’s only logical that elected officials would say ‘enough is enough’ and oppose this sale,” said Dave Regan, president of SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW). “To any community with a struggling hospital, we say ‘watch out’ because it’s only going to get worse if Prime Healthcare takes over.”

The 38 sitting legislators opposed to the sale represent areas across California:

  1. Sen. Jim Beall (D-San Jose)
  2. Sen. Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo)
  3. Sen. William Monning (D-Carmel)
  4. Sen. Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills)
  5. Sen. Ed Hernandez (D-West Covina)
  6. Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins (D-San Diego)
  7. Assemblymember Richard Pan (D-Sacramento)
  8. Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego)
  9. Assemblymember Mark Stone (D-Scotts Valley)
  10. Assemblymember Kevin Mullin (D-South San Francisco)
  11. Assemblymember Philip Ting (D-San Francisco)
  12. Assemblymember Bill Quirk (D-Hayward)
  13. Assemblymember Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont)
  14. Assemblymember Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley)
  15. Assemblymember Jim Frazier (D-Oakley)
  16. Assemblymember Susan Bonilla (D-Concord)
  17. Assemblymember Rob Bonta (D-Alameda)
  18. Assemblymember Noreen Evans (D-Santa Rosa)
  19. Assemblymember Luis Alejo (D-Watsonville)
  20. Assemblymember Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles)
  21. Assemblymember John Perez (D-Los Angeles)
  22. Assemblymember Raul Bocanegra (D-Los Angeles)
  23. Assemblymember Roger Hernandez (D-West Covina)
  24. Assemblymember Isadore Hall (D-Compton)
  25. Assemblymember Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood)
  26. Assemblymember Ian Calderon (D-Whittier)
  27. Assemblymember Ken Cooley (D-Rancho Cordova)
  28. Assemblymember Christina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens)
  29. Assemblymember Das Williams (D-Santa Barbara)
  30. Assemblymember V. Manny Perez (D-Coachella)
  31. Assemblymember Steve Fox (D-Palmdale)
  32. Assemblymember Chris Holden (D-Pasadena)
  33. Assemblymember Henry Perea (D-Fresno)
  34. Assemblymember Susan Talamantes Eggman (D-Stockton)
  35. Assemblymember Jimmy Gomez (D-Los Angeles)
  36. Assemblymember Bonnie Lowenthal (D-Long Beach)
  37. Assemblymember Reggie Jones-Sawyer (D-Los Angeles)
  38. Assemblymember Freddie Rodriguez (D-Pomona)

The legislators in opposition are joined by U.S. Reps. Mike Honda (D-San Jose) and Janice Hahn (D-San Pedro), Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, Santa Clara County Executive Jeff Smith, the City of Lynwood, the mayors of Bell and Huntington Beach, and city councilmembers from Compton, Commerce, Montebello and Bell Gardens. Others opposed to the sale include the San Jose Mercury News and seven labor unions: California School Employees Association, UFCW Western States Council, Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, SEIU California, SEIU Local 721, SEIU Nurses Alliance and Scientists & Engineers Local 20.

Daughters of Charity announced Oct. 10 that it chose Prime Healthcare as the lead bidder for the safety-net hospital system and would negotiate with Prime exclusively. Concern lies with Prime Healthcare’s dismal record and business practices:

  • Prime admitted that it is under federal investigation for allegedly overbilling the federal government;
  • Prime paid a $275,000 fine after deliberately violating a patient’s privacy by sharing her records with journalists and 800 employees;
  • A group of doctors in San Bernardino County sued Prime Healthcare last year when the company denied them access to their own patients;
  • The company’s Desert Valley Hospital was sanctioned by the California Department of Public Health for improper care resulting in a patient’s death; and
  • Prime’s Garden Grove hospital was cited by the State of California after a patient was administered a lethal dose of a powerful sedative.

Daughters of Charity owns Seton Medical Center, Daly City; Seton Coastside, Moss Beach; O’Connor Hospital, San Jose; Saint Louise Regional Hospital, Gilroy; St. Vincent Medical Center, Los Angeles; and St. Francis Medical Center, Lynwood.

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