Surgical Firm to Run Century City Hospital

Times Staff Writer

Century City Hospital, which was slated to close this spring, will remain open with a new owner, parties to the deal announced Friday.

Owners of the Salus Surgical Group said they would take over the 100-bed hospital space leased by the Tenet Healthcare Corp. in the Century Medical Plaza in Century City. Tenet had said it would shutter the hospital because it didn’t want to invest money in a building that it didn’t own.

Salus, a boutique surgical firm based in Beverly Hills, will run the new facility, pending approval by regulators. It will be called Century City Doctors Hospital.


In a statement, Salus Chief Executive Randy S. Rosen said: “We intend to operate the hospital as a full-service acute-care facility.”

Rosen added: “The Century City Doctors Hospital intends to provide emergency medical services to the community.”

Neither side in the deal would divulge financial details.

The announcement capped a tumultuous week in the hospital business in Southern California. Earlier this week, Tenet announced that it planned to sell 18 hospitals in the region -- raising concerns that the Santa Barbara-based company would shutter those facilities that it couldn’t sell.

Salus is new to the hospital business. The firm specializes in orthopedic, pain management and spinal procedures, many of which are done on an outpatient basis. The company’s website says the firm is planning to expand in California and to other states, including Colorado, Illinois and New York.

Salus will face several challenges in Century City, most notably seismically upgrading the office tower by 2013 to comply with state regulations.

The potential loss of the emergency room, in particular, had been of concern to health officials. ERs throughout the region are swamped with the sick, injured and uninsured -- and the loss of any ERs would exacerbate the problem, officials say.

Carol Gunter, the acting director of the Los Angeles County Emergency Medical Services Agency, said the county has yet to be notified whether the ER in Century City would remain open. She added that fire departments in Beverly Hills and Los Angeles have expressed concern that any closure would increase the time it takes to transport patients.

Tenet spokesman David Langness said the announcement of Salus’ takeover demonstrated that there is a market for hospitals.

Langness said that Tenet had received dozens of inquiries from interested buyers for its other hospitals, but he said that Tenet could not disclose their names because of confidentiality agreements.