CATHOLIC HEALTHCARE WEST: Purchase Of UniHealth Hospitals Almost Complete, But Draws Ire Of Women’s Group
Catholic HealthCare West of San Francisco's purchase of eight UniHealth hospitals is expected to be complete in a couple of weeks, yesterday's Los Angeles Times reported. The deal will make Catholic HealthCare a 48-hospital chain, "one of the largest nonprofit systems in the state." UniHealth President Jim Yoshika said the "final date of the takeover is still under negotiation but is expected around the end of the month." The Times reports that the "merger will give the hospitals the advantages of joining with a larger nonprofit organization in negotiating for business with managed care companies." Yoshika said, "We did this merger to strengthen the assets in the community. We don't contemplate any of them closing." The Times reports that some "feminist groups" are worried that the merger will limit family planning services, but Yoshika said the hospitals "are going to remain non-Catholic hospitals" in most reproductive issues. Aside from in-vitro fertilization and non-lifesaving abortions, other reproductive services will be offered. The Times reports that the Valley chapter of the National Organization of Women plans to hold a candlelight vigil Monday at the Northridge facility to protest the merger (Willman, 11/11).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.