The California State Attorney General has given approval for Whittier-based PIH Health to acquire Downey Regional Medical Center.

Attorney General Kamala Harris approved the sale on Aug. 15, according to the Long Beach Press Telegram. Downey Regional filed an application with the attorney general seeking permission to enter into agreement to become part of PIH Health in April.

The attorney general has the authority to approve or deny sales of nonprofit hospitals that are held in public trust. PIH Health and Downey Regional are both nonprofits.

Downey Regional, located southeast of downtown Los Angeles in the city of Downey, emerged from Chapter 11 reorganization proceedings in March 2012, after financing a $52 million loan transaction. The hospital filed for bankruptcy protection in September 2009.

Downey officials said that working with another hospital would help achieve better outcomes, including a stronger balance sheet.

PIH Health, a regional healthcare delivery network serving Los Angeles, Orange County, and the San Gabriel Valley, has had an agreement to run day-to-day operations at Downey Regional since June.

Following the attorney general’s approval, the hospitals will continue with negotiations and due diligence before finalizing a transaction, officials said.

The attorney general’s approval comes with a number of conditions, including providing minimum levels of emergency and inpatient services, and to participate in the Medi-Cal program for at least five years, and provide a minimum level of charity care for at least six years.

Downey City Council voted Aug. 15 to approve the sale of land to PIH Health for $9.85 million.

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