Tenet To Keep Daniel Freeman Marina Hospital Open
Santa Barbara-based Tenet Healthcare yesterday reversed its decision to close Daniel Freeman Marina Hospital in Marina del Rey, making an "open-ended commitment to running the hospital," the Los Angeles Times reports. Although the hospital typically has an average of 44 of its 169 beds filled, hospital Chief Executive Harris Koenig said he hopes the opposition to the hospital's closure will lead to higher occupancy rates (Richardson, Los Angeles Times, 4/8). Last June, Tenet announced plans to close Daniel Freeman Marina, which it acquired in December 2001 from Carondelet Health System, a St. Louis-based company, as part of the $55 million purchase of Daniel Freeman Hospitals. However, in August 2002, Attorney General Bill Lockyer (D) ordered Tenet not to close the facility until it met stipulated conditions. Because the sale would switch the status of not-for-profit Daniel Freeman Hospitals to for-profit, Lockyer had the authority to block the acquisition. Lockyer approved the sale, however, after Tenet agreed to 21 conditions to ensure that the hospitals would continue to provide services offered by most not-for-profit facilities. Tenet last week agreed to settle a lawsuit filed by Lockyer to prevent the closure of the facility. Under the settlement, Tenet agreed to give $400,000 to the California Community Foundation for health care services for low-income residents and to reimburse the state $100,000 for court costs; the agreement allowed Tenet to close the facility as previously announced or keep it open (California Healthline, 4/2). Koenig said, "I think the circumstances that we were faced with were dire, and we needed to make decisions that weren't accepted well. But having some additional time means we're in a position now to move forward" (Los Angeles Times, 4/8).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.