Just six months after purchasing Westlake Medical Center in Westlake Village, Calif., Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp. announced that it is discontinuing all inpatient care and has offered to sell the facility to Salick Health Care.
Columbia gave Salick, a Los Angeles-based cancer treatment company that already leases part of the facility, the option to buy the 60-bed medical center. Salick officials said they plan to spend $15 million to $20 million on upgrading the hospital into what they termed a cutting-edge treatment center for cancer, AIDS and transplant patients.
Terms of a proposed deal between Columbia and Salick were not disclosed.
"We're in an expansion mode," said Bernard Salick, M.D., Salick's chairman and chief executive officer. "I expect the deal to close within 90 days."
Columbia representatives said that keeping the facility open was no longer economically feasible because of a dramatic reduction in patient volume. Since Columbia bought the 23-year-old hospital in July, it has been running at about 11% of capacity, with an average daily census of 13 to 14 patients.
The fate of the hospital's 190 employees was uncertain. Columbia said it will absorb some into its neighboring Los Robles Medical Center. Salick said his company will also hire some Westlake employees.
Columbia is obligated to continue regular operations at the facility for up to six months or until the deal is completed.