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Prime Healthcare on the Daughters of Charity hospitals deal

To the editor: Michael Hiltzik misrepresents Prime Healthcare's intentions in the failed Daughters of Charity deal, painting a misleading portrait of the company's history while buying into a faulty union narrative about Prime's business model. ("Kamala Harris calls Prime's bluff in hospital deal's collapse," column, March 13)

Prime Healthcare has never closed a hospital, nor has it ever shut down clinical operations at any of its 34 facilities nationwide. Prime hospitals have expanded clinical service lines and are treating greater numbers of patients more efficiently and with award-winning quality care.

When it came time to approve the Daughters of Charity purchase, the attorney general demanded that Prime continue operating the hospitals just as Daughters of Charity has for the next 10 years, despite them having lost $140 million in the last year alone. With projected losses of more than $2 billion over the next 10 years, Prime was forced to back out.

The truth is that Prime Healthcare did all it could to make the Daughters of Charity deal work. But it would have been irresponsible for Prime to accept layer upon layer of sale conditions that guaranteed the hospitals' continued failure.

Mike Sarian, Glendale

The writer is president of Prime Healthcare.

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