Nonprofit Verity Health System today announced plans to close St. Vincent Medical Center in the Westlake District, saying it was unable to complete a sale of the facility with more than 1,300 employees.
According to Verity, the system filed court papers seeking authority to close the medical center at 2131 W. Third St. Verity Health has been working through Chapter 11 bankruptcy and had hoped to transfer ownership of the 366-bed hospital and three other medical centers.
Last year a judge approved sale of the four Verity medical centers and hospital to KPC Group for $610 million. But Verity claimed today that KPC defaulted on the purchase agreement, prompting the closure of St. Vincent, which opened in 1854, according to hospital website. Verity said it has also filed a lawsuit against KPC.
"We are deeply saddened to announce the planned closure of St. Vincent Medical Center," said Rich Adcock, CEO of Verity Health. "This decision has not been taken lightly and comes only after exhausting every option to keep this hospital open. St. Vincent and its caregivers have had the distinct privilege of providing care to patients in this community. We appreciate both the opportunity to serve and the caregivers who have made a difference in ensuring that patients received the highest quality care. While we regret the closure of St. Vincent, we know that this community will continue to be well-served by nearby hospitals."
Verity's other three hospitals -- including St. Francis Medical Center in Lynwood -- will remain open.
According to Verity, current patients at St. Vincent Medical Center will continue to receive care until they can be discharged or transferred to other hospitals. The hospitals transplant programs will be relocated to other facilities to ensure patients "will continue to receive high-quality care from their existing physicians."
Once a judge gives full authority for the facility's closure will be diverted to nearby emergency departments, including to those at the eight hospitals located within a 3-mile radius of St. Vincent, according to the company. The St. Vincent emergency room has about 14,000 visits, according to the hospital website.
That could have an impact on such facilities as the Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center and Hollywood Presbyterian in East Hollywood and Good Samaritan, which operates the closest emergency room to Echo Park.