Lockyer Approves Tenet Plan To Buy Los Angeles Cancer Center, but Imposes Conditions
Attorney General Bill Lockyer (D) has approved Santa Barbara-based Tenet Healthcare's $35 million purchase of the not-for-profit USC/Norris Cancer Hospital in Los Angeles but imposed "strict conditions" to maintain the hospital's current cancer care and charity care programs, the Los Angeles Times reports (Vrana, Los Angeles Times, 6/4). Lockyer imposed the conditions after the Coalition for Quality Health Care, a group of community health care activists, last November raised concerns about Tenet's plan to purchase the hospital, stating that Tenet's practice of price increases and staff reductions at acquired hospitals could undermine programs available at USC/Norris (California Healthline, 11/26/02). Health care advocates also said the purchase could result in a reduction of programs to treat the poor. Under the conditions imposed by Lockyer, USC would allocate more than $25 million to help pay for cancer care through a new organization called the USC/Norris Cancer Center Foundation. Tenet would buy the business side of USC/Norris, but USC would retain ownership of the building and lease it to Tenet, according to a Lockyer spokesperson. Lark Galloway-Gilliam, director of Community Health Councils, a not-for-profit advocacy group for the uninsured, said she approved of the conditions imposed on Tenet but remained concerned about the impact of the sale on low-income patients. A Tenet spokesperson on Tuesday said the company is "carefully reviewing the conditions" to decide whether to continue with the purchase (Los Angeles Times, 6/4).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.