QUEEN OF ANGELS: L.A. Questions Tenet’s Charity Care Pledge
"The Los Angeles County Department of Health Services thinks Tenet Healthcare Corp.'s pledge to maintain charity-care levels at Queen of Angels-Hollywood Presbyterian is a little thin," Modern Healthcare reports. The controversial sale of the nonprofit Queen of Angels to Tenet for $86.4 million is currently being reviewed by the county and state attorney general. If allowed to purchase the hospital, Tenet has pledged to retain the current levels of charity care. However, in a report to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, Mark Finucane, the director of county health services, "said Tenet's charity care pledge should be based on costs, not charges, and should be adjustable for inflation." Last year, Queen of Angels charity care expenses were $10 million in charges, but $6 million in costs, according to the report. "The report expressed concern that Tenet might meet its obligation by raising prices rather than providing equivalent care to the poor," Modern Healthcare reports. A spokesperson for Tenet called Finucane's recommendation "impractical," noting that "charity care is accounted for in many ways" (Shinkman, 3/9 issue).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.