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Tenet Agrees to Sell Four Orange County Hospitals

Times Staff Writer

Tenet Healthcare Corp. announced Thursday that it had agreed to sell four Orange County hospitals to a newly formed Costa Mesa-based concern, Integrated Healthcare Holdings Inc., for an undisclosed amount.

Tenet said it would turn a profit of about $72 million from the sale. The buyer is a publicly traded hospital acquisition and management company.

The sale includes two facilities in Santa Ana: Western Medical Center (280 beds) and Coastal Communities Hospital (178 beds). Also changing hands are Western Medical Center in Anaheim (188 beds) and Chapman Medical Center in Orange (114 beds).

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In a statement, W. Randolph Smith, who is overseeing Tenet’s divestiture effort, said the proposed deal “affirms our commitment to seek buyers who will continue to operate these facilities as acute care hospitals.”

In January, Santa Barbara-based Tenet announced plans to divest 27 of its hospitals, including 19 in California, in an effort to return the nation’s second-largest hospital company to profitability. The sales agreements announced Thursday mean Tenet has found new operators for 15 hospitals.

Tenet has reported a series of losses since the disclosure almost two years ago that doctors at its Redding hospital had allegedly performed hundreds of unnecessary cardiac procedures and open-heart surgeries to boost revenue. The company has since sold that hospital to preserve the facility’s eligibility for Medicare.

Tenet is also seeking to settle a raft of Redding malpractice lawsuits as well as a series of government investigations into its billing and other business practices. The company faces trial this month in San Diego on criminal charges that its administrators improperly paid physicians who referred patients to its Alvarado hospital.

Tenet’s shares rose 25 cents Thursday to $10.79 on the New York Stock Exchange.


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