Prime Healthcare Comes to Kansas City, Kansas

The Kansas City Star is reporting that Prime Healthcare has completed its purchase of hospitals in Kansas City and Leavenworth Kansas. Buying at both ends of the hospital-size continuum, Prime has closed the deals to purchase the 400-bed Providence Medical Center and the 80-bed St. John's Hospital. These appear to be the first Prime acquisitions in Kansas.

Prime is a for-profit entity that specializes in the purchase of financially-distressed properties to add to its California-based 23 acute care hospital chain. These acquisitions were no exception to the Prime business model. It is reported that the $54.3 million sale price came nowhere near the $121 million in debt the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth Health System was carrying on the facilities.

Prime has quite a high profile in California.  You could read about their legal battles with Kaiser Permanente Health Plan over billing and transfer practices here: http://www.modernhealthcare.com/article/20120918/NEWS/309189959.   And you could read about Prime's kwashiorkor cases here:http://www.sfgate.com/health/article/Hospital-eases-billing-for-rare-malady-4141154.php. Or, you could read about Prime's patient data breach issue here: http://www.californiahealthline.org/articles/2013/1/18/prime-sued-over-alleged-patient-confidentiality-breach.aspx.  

The closing of a hospital can best be understood as the death of a civilization.  Many communities, particularly rural communities, build much of their civic life around hospitals. The pressure to find a buyer — any buyer — can be intense when a hospital is on the apparent brink of closure. 

 

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