The state also paid healthcare companies Kaiser Permanente and Dignity Health a monthly management fee of $500,000 each to oversee the hospital. Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, who owns The Los Angeles Times, purchased St. Vincent for $135 million in a deal that was finalized in early April. His global health firm NantWorks is a creditor in Verity’s bankruptcy proceedings.
“At the beginning of this crisis, we didn’t know what the challenges would be,” said Dr. Jamie Taylor, who ran the surge hospital’s intensive care unit. “So creating this hospital was something that had to be done. But now the smart thing to do is to adapt, based on what the community needs.”
The state had initially anticipated needing 50,000 hospital beds for COVID-19 patients. Hospitals began to execute “surge plans” that would add 30,000 beds to their count. The rest would come from medical centers like St. Vincent, as well as field medical stations set up at convention centers and fairgrounds, and the U.S. Navy’s Mercy hospital ship.
The hospital opened in April and closed two months later in June.
Soon-Shiong said at the time he purchased St. Vincent Medical Center that he planned to use buildings on the 10-acre campus for COVID-19 research. Have those plans changed?
The parking lot of the former St. Vincent Medical Center is currently filled with trailers typically used by movie studios and television production companies for on-location shoots. A truck from a company called Cinelease, which describes itself as “a market leader in lighting and grip equipment rentals,” sits nearby. Tents cover outdoor dining areas and a line of cooks, who are busy preparing food.
What could be interpreted as a makeshift crew parking sign pointing to an indoor lot reads “TRIAGE,” a common word around hospitals but also the name of a pilot greenlit by ABC executives earlier this year.
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