EAST BAY CITIZEN. EVERYWHERE SINCE 2009

Friday, March 9, 2012

Controversial Health Care Provider May Be An Option For St. Rose

HEALTH CARE

Prem Reddy, founder of Prime
Mar. 9, 2012 | Several Alameda County and Hayward officials say Prime Healthcare, the controversial Southern California care provider under state investigation for its business practices, has shown interest in purchasing the struggling St. Rose Hospital.

Nearby Washington Hospital agreed Feb. 22 to allocate St. Rose $2 million for short-term operations. The Washington Township Health Care District hopes to enter into a joint powers agreement with St. Rose and Alameda County. If a deal is not made, though, the director of Alameda County Health Care Services Alex Briscoe said it may be necessary for St. Rose to entertain overtures from Prime in order to stave off bankruptcy.

"While the St. Rose CEO and board chair have openly stated that they would prefer a public affiliation via a joint powers authority," wrote Briscoe, "if credit protection becomes necessary, St. Rose may seek an agreement with Prime in lieu of bankruptcy."

Briscoe, though, appears less than enthused by the possibility of Prime making a second attempt at purchasing an underperforming facility in the East Bay. In a staff report, he described Prime as "a hospital chain weathering allegations of patient confidentiality breaches and Medicare billing fraud."

Prime previously attempted to buy San Leandro Hospital in 2009 before Sutter Health showed vehemently opposition to the 16-hospital chain entering its discussions with the Eden Township Healthcare District and Alameda County.

A spokesman for Prime declined to comment Thursday on the health provider's interest in St. Rose.

Briscoe will ask the Alameda County Board of Supervisors to allocate the $2 million fund for use by St. Rose, whose financial viability has come into question over the past eight months. It twice received loans from the Eden Township Healthcare District; once nearly defaulting on loan payments last December. St. Rose had also made similar plans to merge with the Eden Township Healthcare District as late as last month to help achieve greater economies of scale for state and federal financing in tandem with San Leandro Hospital.

The inclusion of Prime may not be anything more than a viable, but highly unattractive option for St. Rose, sources tell The Citizen. Prime's interest in St. Rose, regardless of the facility's poor financial outlook, has historically been a common prerequisite for Prime's large number of acquisitions in Southern California since its founding in 2001.

The company is infamous for purchasing health care out of bankruptcy and quickly turning them into cash cows. Critics though, say their methods, including an affinity for immediately voiding labor contracts and eliminating existing health insurance providers may be a profitable business plan, but ultimately ruinous for the local health care safety net. Prime is also known for funneling a high number of patients through its emergency rooms, thereby, garnering larger insurance premiums.

Briscoe will present a presentation on the proposed partnership with Washington Hospital during next Tuesday's Alameda County Board of Supervisors meeting.

32 comments :

I did not know Briscoe was crazy, but appears he has a serious handicap; to trust Prime is ridculous on the surface; Prime is under government investigation for fraud involving Medicare/Medicade and Briscoe wants to let them into the County. Better try something else. Maybe best bet is to allow Washington Hospital to take over St. Rose. Tony Santos

The only way the supervisors and other funders will financially support St. Rose is if the CEO resigns.

Mr. Santos, there is NO WAY the County supports Prime taking over St. Rose and if you don't believe me pick up the phone and call Briscoe or any of the Supervisors. The County is pushing the Washington Hospital JPA partly because they know how to run a hospital and partly to keep Prime out of the East Bay. The fact is the St. Rose Board of Directors doesn't know the first thing about running a hospital and they think their CEO walks on water when in fact he is running the place into the ground.

Briscoe is just calling out a bogeyman to make sure the vote goes the way he wants it to.

Sad that this may be Lockyer's biggest issue in her district. And her personal choices have led her unable to fulfil her duties. Step down now!

The CEO of St. Rose and the board of the hospital should resign immediately. What a bunch of idiots to keep this hospital leadership and I mean the executives as well.

We are so screwed here -- we've got disfunctional strange leadership at Eden, with Sutter turning their head away from the problem; we've got awlful healthcare at SLH, managed by a person who should have retired years ago; we've got that stupid CEO at St Rose and a board that can get rid of him.

Where can we get quality healthcare? I for one am just fed up with this sorry situation. Where are our political leaders? Someone please step up and help us.

I read that Eden Township Healthcare District voted to join the Joint Powers Agreement with Washington District and the County. Washington Hospital would operate St. Rose, and St. Rose would be a District Hospital. We just need the County's approval - on the agenda this Tuesday.

I wish Briscoe was calling the "bogeyman", but Prime is for sure interested in St. Rose and that's all bad. If St. Rose goes into bankruptcy it will be turned over to a judge and the it's just a matter of who can write the biggest check and that would be Prime. If that happened say goodbye to 1 of 2 DISH hospitals in alarmeda county and say hello to every other hospital in the county being flooded by people who would normally go to St Rose...including kaiser, Washington, valley care ect...So basically everything needs to be do to keep St. Rose open.

Lockyer picked a heck of a time to not be around!

Haha and good luck to poster above. Prime is to st rose as sutter is to SLH. All the rallies and chanting in the world haven't stopped sutter and neither will it stop prime if st rose fails.

My god, the ETHD is the worst possible group to save St. Rose. What a bunch of idiots. They should be sued by the public for their total mismanagement of SLH through this sutter lawsuit.

We are screwed.

Briscoe is asking for $2 million to give St. Rose breathing room and allow it to move forward on the JPA. If the JPA is not successfully negotiated and St. Rose then seeks bankruptcy, Prime has an opening. It should be obvious (but apparently isn't to either Tevares or the commentors here) that Briscoe only raises the Prime issue to provide a compelling reason for the Supervisors to allocate the $2 million without delay.

$2 million today; what will they need tomorrow? It's a rat hole.

If Briscoe raised prime to get the supes to fork over money then he is dishonest.

There is so much dishonesty from these hospitals and their surrogets that it's disgusting to most of us.

Sutter manages/operates San Leandro Hospital. Remember the 2008 agreement kicked ETHD off the governing board? Sutter gets to buy San Leandro Hospital for $1 because of this agreement. The District paid $30 million for SLH with District funds , so how much is it worth to fight it's closure? The community loses $30 million of assets to Sutter? Do the math.

Washington Hospital would be an awesome management of St. Rose Hospital.

Sutter has put more than the $30 million into keeping that dog SLH open. You do the math.

Everyone talks of money, fraud etc. and you are right HOWEVER, lets remember
a more important issue DEATH. Not transferring patients out in order to make more money causes death of your loved one. These cases are hidden by out of court settlements, don't let these murders continue. It could be your daughter next.

Sutter's history is to bleed a hospital dry of cash and profits just before they close it. I work there and have knowledge of their nefarious ways. I can do the math; ask me in court.

Sutter is ramping up for the inevitable win in the judicial system as members of ACMC halve been seen walking around SLH on Friday and Monday with SLH administration. The end is near

How dare they! Without any legal agreement in place. It only freaks out the employees. I have been told that Sutter must give 90 days notice to close the hospital that they do not own. Who is going to sign the deed over to them? Carol Rogers?

They have been giving notice for the last several years. You just didn't believe or listen to them.

We (the nurses) just don't show up anymore for management meetings. Same old BS. (Get a new job somewhere else. The hospital is going to close in xx months.) Same message for the last three years...

Of coarse Prime Healthcare wants St. Rose. The patients at St. Rose are 41% funded by Medi-Cal, 38% funded by Medi-Care. This is "Prime" pickins for a huckster like Prem Reddy and his brother to continue to defraud the state of even more funds. His helicopter doesn't fly by itself, it needs state funds to fuel it. I wouldn't be surprised to see him come into Alameda County, this would be a climax to a whole string of poorly thought out decisions of the past that has St. Rose in the place it see itself now. I know lets let Mahoney figure it out he's a genius!!! Hello Prime wanna a hospital??

Could Prime really be worse then George or Mike? Really????

Just so you all know Michael Mahoney has resigned as of today 3-16-2012

Yes Prime would be exponentially worse. Just do a little investagating you'll see. Prem Reddy is a leech that not only sucks the blood from which ever hospital he owns, he sucks the blood out of the entire community. Check out his web site, you'll be entertained with the level of this guys ego, good comedy.

As a Highland Hospital employee, please note that the evil Prime Health bills Medicare, MediCal and private insurers the same way as ACMC (highland). We have no contracts with private insurance companies, and if you are a trauma patient, you get billed for our outrageous charges. We get extra payment from the State from Medi-Cal, and collect a 1/2 % sales tax from the voters just to keep the innefficient highest cost per patient in the State - hospital alive. ACMC wants to take over San Leandro Hospital and now wants to run St. Rose Hospital ????

Rumor is that the California Supreme Court has agreed to hear Eden Township Disrict's lawsuit.

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Let Prime Health care take over St. Rose. Eden,Washington and Sutter can pick up patients that won't be going there anymore. It's about time some one else feels what St Rose has had to deal with over the last 20 years.

You can all criticize St. Rose financial situation.
But criticize Prime Health - they have the same billing policy as ACMC - Highland... Bill outrageous charges to the insurance companies and they have to pay because you have no discount contracts in force. Sounds like a good business plan. From the Financial Services Dept. ACMC

FYI - St. Rose Board of Directors just announced to managerial staff at the hospital that they have sold the hospital to Prime Healthcare.

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