Report: Calif. AG allows PIH Health to acquire medical center

Jessica M. Karmasek Aug. 27, 2013, 5:30pm

DOWNEY, Calif. (Legal Newsline) -- California Attorney General Kamala Harris has approved the sale of Downey Regional Medical Center to PIH Health.

At the end of April, DRMC filed an application with Harris' office seeking permission to enter into an agreement to become part of PIH.

The attorney general, whose office can OK or deny such sales, approved the sale in a decision issued Aug. 15.

"We are pleased to receive approval on the application," DRMC COO Brian Smolskis said in a statement to the Press-Telegram Friday.

"However, it's important to note that PIH Health is continuing its due diligence, and the process to complete a transition from DRMC to PIH Health is still under way."

In June, DRMC announced it entered into an agreement with PIH to manage its day-to-day operations.

The medical center called it a "progressive step" that will position DRMC for growth in the new health care environment.

"Collaboration is an important element in the new era of health care reform, both locally and nationally," James Ball, chairman of DRMC's board, said at the time.

"The expert support of PIH Health ensures the high standards of quality and safety that residents of the Downey community have counted on for more than 90 years."

DRMC said the collaboration will benefit patients, employees, physicians and volunteers affiliated with both institutions, and will mean better outcomes, increased community presence and a stronger balance sheet.

"Under health care reform, those hospitals that collaborate are rewarded for their efforts to improve wellness and increase care efficiencies," Smolskis said in June.

"As non-profit organizations, both DRMC and PIH Health share a rich history of meeting the healthcare needs of their communities and establishing a 'patients first' vision."

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