KEEP our COMMUNITY HOSPITAL a not-for-profit

KEEP our COMMUNITY HOSPITAL a not-for-profit

323 have signed. Let’s get to 500!
Petition to
Yuma County Hospital District No. 1 Board

Why this petition matters

Keep Yuma Regional Medical Center Non-Profit

Say NO to the Merger or Joint Venture with Apollo-Owned LifePoint

Tell our Hospital District Board to kill this proposed MERGER NOW!

Do Not Allow Private Equity to Control Our Health Care Monopoly!

On June 30, 2021 the Yuma Regional Medical Center announced it is exploring forming a joint venture with LifePoint Health, a for-profit health care company owned by private equity giant Apollo Global Management since 2018. Under the proposed joint venture, current YRMC employees would become LifePoint employees.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly - Yuma's Community Hospital
Now isn't this interesting? While doing some research on the "chosen merger partner" announced by YRMC I found that LifePoint Health, started in 1999 as A spin-off from Hospital Corporation of America (HCA) The company was then acquired by Apollo-owned RCCH HealthCare in a $5.6 billion merger in 2018.
Apollo Global Management, Inc., is a global alternative investment manager firm. It was founded in 1990 by Leon Black, Josh Harris,[4] and Marc Rowan.[5] Apollo is headquartered in New York City.
On March 26, 2021, founder Leon Black relinquished all control of Apollo Global Management, the private equity firm he led for more than three decades, after revelation he paid more than $150 million to the disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein.
Imagine that! The founder and Chairman (until 3 months ago) of the Private Equity Company that YRMC wants to partner with and trust with Yuma County’s healthcare, paid Jeffrey Epstein $158 million for “personal tax-related advice” over the period from 2012 to 2017!

Read Press Accounts About LifePoint
LifePoint in Wyoming
In Wyoming, LifePoint operates the only hospital in Riverton. In 2014, LifePoint merged that hospital with another LifePoint facility in Lander, approximately thirty miles away. LifePoint cut staff, reduced surgeries, and ended OBGYN services at Riverton, according to a local group that included a retired doctor and former mayor. The Wall Street Journal reported air ambulance rides from the county where the Riverton hospital is located increased from 155 in 2014 to 937 in 2019. In 2019, LifePoint closed its inpatient mental health unit in Lander. Now, a group of community leaders in Riverton is raising funds to construct a new, nonprofit hospital in their city. LifePoint is opposing their efforts, and reportedly lobbied against the group’s attempt to receive low-interest loans from the USDA.

A City’s Only Hospital Cut Services. How Locals Fought Back.

Wall Street Journal, April 11, 2021

“When the only hospital in a small central Wyoming city stopped delivering babies and cut back on surgeries, local residents sought to start their own. The fight that ensued now stretches to Washington, and is shining an uncomfortable light on one of the country’s biggest hospital chains and its private-equity owner.

LifePoint Health Inc., backed by Apollo Global Management Inc., controls the only hospital in working-class Riverton, Wyo. After LifePoint merged Riverton’s hospital with another facility it owns in the city of Lander, 30 miles away, it began consolidating the hospitals’ services.” … Read full article

Fremont County hospital group confirms it will close Lander mental health unit

Casper Star Tribune, February 21, 2019

“Lander will lose its inpatient mental health service next week, as local hospital system SageWest announced the imminent closure of the unit Wednesday.

[Vivian] Watkins said the community was ‘dismayed’ by the decision, as it was when SageWest closed other units. ‘But you know they are a private corporation, they make those decisions based on their business plan,’ she said, referring to SageWest’s parent company, LifePoint. ‘While that is emotionally daunting, you know, they are a for-profit corporation that is there to return to their investors an income on their investment.’” …Read full article

Riverton group accuses hospital owners of ‘systematic reduction’ at facility in favor of Lander location

Casper Star Tribune, August 26, 2018

“‘It’s clear that there has been an orchestrated, systematic reduction in physicians and services,’ said retired physician Roger Gose, ‘including general surgery, orthopedics, obstetrics, that has occurred progressively since April 24, 2014, which was the beginning of what we know as SageWest.’ SageWest Health is the merger of the Lander and Riverton hospitals under the corporate ownership of LifePoint, a Tennessee-based health care company. The two hospitals were separate until April 2014, when LifePoint joined them at the hip under the SageWest banner.” … Read full article

LifePoint in Idaho
In Idaho, the St. Joseph Regional Medical Center converted from a nonprofit to a for-profit model when it was acquired by Apollo-owned RCCH HealthCare Partners in 2017, which then merged with LifePoint in 2018. In 2020, nurses protested LifePoint. In June 2021, the nurses’ union announced they reached an agreement with the hospital that included improvements to staffing.

Private Equity Powerhouse Books $1.6 Billion Profit Selling Hospital Chain -- to Itself

Sabrina Willmer Bookmark July 29 2021, 5:33 PM July 29 2021, 11:06 PM (Bloomberg) -- Apollo Global Management Inc. booked a $1.6 billion gain for its 2013 buyout fund by selling its majority stake in rural hospital chain LifePoint Health to another Apollo fund. 

Read more at:
Copyright © BloombergQuint

LifePoint in Washington
In Washington, LifePoint operates the Lourdes Counseling Center in Richland. In December 2020, nurses and counselors protested for fair staffing before later reaching an agreement with LifePoint.

Lourdes workers picket to bring awareness to ongoing problems at Richland center

KEPR, December 14, 2020

“Workers with Lourdes Counseling Center in Richland are bringing awareness to ongoing problems at the center that staff say are causing workplace safety concerns.

On Monday morning the crowd of picketers chanted, ‘What do we want? Fair staffing! When do we want it? Now!’ on the corner of Carondelet Drive and Goethals Drive in Richland.

Picketers tells Action News they want better wages and benefits to recruit quality staff that is needed at the center.

Workers say the low wages are causing staff shortages which are also causing concerns of workplace safety for both staff and patients.” … Read full article

LifePoint in Nevada
In Nevada, LifePoint acquired the only hospital in Elko in 2005. In 2015, LifePoint closed its inpatient behavioral health unit. Now, patients in need of inpatient mental healthcare travel to Reno or Salt Lake City. In 2017, the Elko County Health Board sent a letter to LifePoint raising concerns about its high prices and billing practices, stating, “the local hospital is having an extremely negative impact on our local economy and the safety, health and welfare of our citizens.” It described high prices causing local employers to send employees out of town to seek care to reduce costs. It also stated that there was a “widespread lack of confidence that the corporation cares about our community.”

County health board chastises NNRH Owner

Elko Daily Free Press, January 7, 2017

“After receiving numerous complaints from residents, the Elko County Health Board this week sent a five-page letter to LifePoint Health CEO William Carpenter with concerns about Northeastern Nevada Regional Hospital’s prices and billing practices. …

The letter begins, ‘The Elko County Health Board would like to officially put you on notice that the local hospital is having an extremely negative impact on our local economy and the safety, health and welfare of our citizens.’ …

‘This anti-competitive pricing is eroding our healthcare infrastructure,’ the letter states. … Read full article
Apollo Global Management
Apollo is massive investment management company that has over $471 billion in assets under management as of June 2021. Apollo’s private equity funds purchase companies, typically own them for a short period of time, and then seek to sell them for profit. Private equity companies use many strategies to profit from their investments, including cost-cutting, charging management fees to companies they own, selling companies’ assets including real estate, or extracting money from companies in the form of dividends which in some cases are funded by taking on debt.

In 2018, Apollo acquired LifePoint in a leveraged buyout – a financial maneuver that used borrowed money towards the purchase of LifePoint and put the debt on LifePoint’s books. Apollo then merged LifePoint with two other healthcare companies that it had acquired previously.

Under Apollo’s ownership in 2019, LifePoint sold the real estate of ten of its hospitals for $700 million and began paying rent to lease back the properties.

According to reporting in Bloomberg, in 2020, Apollo told its investors that it was pursuing a strategy of consolidation and that LifePoint has a stockpile of $2 billion of cash that could be used for acquisitions.

In June 2021, LifePoint announced it entered an agreement to acquire Kindred Healthcare for an undisclosed price. Following the announcement, Moody’s placed LifePoint’s credit ratings on review for downgrade. Moody’s noted that LifePoint already had a high level of debt prior to newly announced acquisition and that Apollo’s ownership could mean financial practices that extract funds for investors:

“With respect to governance, LifePoint’s ownership by private equity firm Apollo Management will result in the deployment of aggressive financial policies. While LifePoint may pursue an IPO longer-term given its large scale, Apollo may take dividends along the way, particularly if the company achieves its cash flow and deleveraging goals.”
-Moody’s Investors Service, 6/22/21

323 have signed. Let’s get to 500!