[April 28, 2016] OAKLAND, Calif. – Healthcare workers praised the Petaluma Health Care District board today for rejecting Prime Healthcare as a preferred bidder to operate Petaluma Valley Hospital.
“This decision is a victory for the Petaluma community which fought to protect our hospital and maintain patient care standards,” said Abigail Barajas, a healthcare worker at Santa Rosa Community Health Centers. “We’re glad the board heard the community’s concerns because it would have been a major mistake if Prime Healthcare was allowed to operate the hospital.”
In February 2016, healthcare workers raised doubts about Prime Healthcare as a bidder, citing the company’s history of eliminating vital services, such as maternity care, at facilities it owns in California and across the country.
Last year, Prime walked away at the last minute from the attempted purchase of the Daughters of Charity Health System rather than meet strict conditions the California Attorney General placed on the sale to protect the hospitals and surrounding communities from Prime’s history of cutting staff and services to drive up profits. In 2011, the California Attorney General rejected Prime’s attempt to buy a hospital in Victorville, Calif.
Other problems plaguing Prime in recent years include:
- Prime admitted that it is under federal investigation for allegedly overbilling the federal government;
- Prime paid $370,000 in federal and state fines 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 Services in 2013 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.