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Verity Health may sell St. Vincent and its other hospitals

Verity Health may sell St. Vincent and its other hospitals
St. Vincent Medical Center in Los Angeles is one of six California hospitals owned by Verity Health System. (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

The nonprofit Verity Health System is considering selling one or more of its six California hospitals because of financial pressures.

Just a year ago, Nantworks, the Culver City company controlled by Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, bought Integrity Healthcare, the management company that provides guidance to Verity, which owns and operates the hospitals. Soon-Shiong also provided an undisclosed amount of funding to Verity.

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“The top priority of Verity’s board and management team is to establish a long-term, sustainable path forward for our hospitals, which are of critical importance to the communities they serve,” Rich Adcock, Verity’s chief executive, said this week in a statement.

The company owns and operates St. Vincent Medical Center in Los Angeles and St. Francis Medical Center in Lynwood. It also has four hospitals in Northern California: O’Connor Hospital in San Jose, St. Louise Regional Hospital in Gilroy, Seton Medical Center in Daly City and Seton Coastside in Moss Beach.

Adcock said the health system was confronting “a decade of deferred maintenance, poor payor contracts, and increasing costs.”

The hospitals, many of which are in lower-income neighborhoods, have been struggling for years to keep their doors open.

He said the system’s board was exploring a range of possible options, including the sale of some or all of its locations.

“We’re disappointed that Verity Health hasn’t been able to make this work,” said Sean Wherley, a spokesperson for SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West, a union that represents workers at the affected hospitals. “We hope the system, that has been such a critical service for underserved communities, can stay together.”

The union said it hopes Verity or any new buyer will keep the hospitals open.

The hospitals were formerly known as the Daughters of Charity Health System.

Soon-Shiong, an entrepreneur, surgeon and scientist, recently bought the Los Angeles Times.

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