Attorney General Orders Tenet Not To Close Daniel Freeman Hospital Until Conditions Met
Attorney General Bill Lockyer (D) has ordered Tenet Healthcare Corp. not to close Daniel Freeman Marina Hospital in Marina del Ray until the company meets conditions made when Tenet purchased the hospital last December, the Los Angeles Times reports (Pacio, Los Angeles Times, 7/10). Tenet announced plans earlier this month to close Daniel Freeman Marina in August. Tenet acquired the hospital last December as part of the $55 million purchase of Daniel Freeman Hospitals, the last not-for-profit facilities in Marina del Rey and Inglewood. Lockyer approved the sale of the hospitals after Tenet agreed to 21 conditions to ensure that the hospitals would provide services offered by most not-for-profit facilities. Under the agreement, Tenet may close Daniel Freeman Marina but must provide patients with transportation to other facilities until June 2005 to ensure their access to health services. Tenet also agreed to maintain an urgent care facility in the area and to establish an outreach program to inform local residents of their options after the hospital closes (California Healthline, 6/28).
Sandra Michioku, a spokesperson for Lockyer, said that Tenet has not submitted documents "proving that it solicited public input" or consulted with local health organizations, elected officials or hospital employees before the company decided to close the hospital. Tenet also has failed to prove that the company's public awareness campaign informs area residents of other facilities that serve Medicare or Medi-Cal beneficiaries and provide charity care. Tenet spokesperson David Langness said that the company "believes that it has complied with the attorney general's conditions" in the agreement and has consulted with local residents. He added that Tenet will "try to remove any barriers that still exist" to obtain the attorney general's approval to close Daniel Freeman Marina. Lockyer set a July 15 deadline for Tenet to respond (Los Angeles Times, 7/10).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.