Members of the Arcadia City Council Tuesday approved a lease that clears the way for USC Healthcare to take control of Methodist Hospital next month, which was one of the last large independent hospitals in Southern California.
“On July 1, the only thing that happens is we’ll be wearing new name badges,” Methodist Hospital senior vice president Cliff Daniels told the Council about the USC affiliation.
He said the hospital’s current management team would remain in place for at least the next 3 years and there were no plans to reduce the number of employees or cut services.
“The motivation of this executive team and the board as we moved into this affiliation, we did it, to ensure the long term viability of a full service community hospital for the next several decades,” Daniels said.
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The California Attorney General’s office granted approval last Friday for the management transfer so long as USC agreed to maintain a number of the hospital’s core services for at least 10 years, including keeping the current number of ER, surgical, and other beds, continuing to provide language services for Cantonese, Mandarin, Spanish, and other non-English speaking patients, and participating in Medicare and Medi-Cal programs.
USCHC was also required to invest $200-million in improvements to the facilities and medical equipment over first five years.
The Attorney General’s office is responsible for overseeing hospital sales and transfers of control.
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“When our hospital systems look to consolidate, it is essential that they do so in a way that maintains competition and affordable healthcare,” said California AG Rob Bonta in a prepared statement.
The Arcadia City Council raised concerns at the Tuesday night meeting about the amount of liability insurance that the hospital and its operating foundation would be required to carry, and proposed renegotiating the policy limits each year in light of the potential for a catastrophic event, such as a mass shooting.