OAKLAND, Calif., Nov. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee joined a growing movement against the sale of Daughters of Charity Health System to Prime Healthcare, after writing to California Attorney General Kamala Harris and raising 'red flags' about the deal. Previously, three U.S. Representatives, 39 state legislators and labor unions and community organizations from across California have expressed deep concerns about the sale.
"Many red flags have been raised as a result of this pending transaction," said Lee in the letter, citing the federal investigation of Prime Healthcare, and the company's history of cutting services and jobs. "It is our understanding that selling Daughters of Charity Health System to Prime Healthcare will not build a strong and sustainable healthcare infrastructure in our state."
Others opposed to the sale are 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. The San Jose Mercury News is against the sale, as are eight labor unions: California School Employees Association, UFCW Western States Council, Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, United Nurses Associations of California, SEIU California, SEIU Local 721, SEIU 121RN and Scientists & Engineers Local 20. The Chamber of Commerce from Florence-Firestone is also against the sale.
In addition, several elected officials have publicly expressed their concerns about selling the hospitals to Prime Healthcare: U.S. Reps. Janice Hahn (D-San Pedro) and Xavier Becerra (D-Los Angeles), Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and Santa Clara County Supervisors Cindy Chavez, Ken Cortese and Ken Yeager.
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 $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 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.
SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW) is the largest hospital and healthcare union in the western United States with more than 150,000 members. We unite every type of healthcare worker with a mission to achieve high-quality healthcare for all. SEIU-UHW is part of the two million-member Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the nation's fastest-growing union. Learn more at www.seiu-uhw.org.
CONTACT: Sean Wherley
SOURCE SEIU United Healthcare Workers-West