Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center may add 75 patient beds after reaching a proposed settlement with state health officials.
Such an expansion would make Sacred Heart a 719-bed hospital, but at a cost to sister hospital Holy Family, which would surrender 25 of its beds under the terms of the agreement announced Wednesday afternoon.
The deal will have to withstand a 30-day comment period and then receive final approval by the hospital and the Washington State Department of Health, which licenses and regulates the number of beds allowed in a community.
This continues the bizarre and inexplicable behavior of Providence Health Care under the leadership of Dr. Andrew Agwunobi. Upon taking over at the beginning of 2009, he announced that he would need to make cuts to staff.
This was in and of itself peculiar because as of December 2008, the hospital system had near $2 billion IN CASH. Then, last fall, their proposed buy out of Rockwood fell through.
Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center’s chief executive charged Rockwood Clinic’s leaders with bad-faith dealings and ethical lapses the day after Rockwood stunned Spokane’s medical community by announcing it would align with Sacred Heart’s main rival.
“It is clear to us that the interim leadership of Rockwood is leading the Rockwood physicians down a very dangerous path fueled purely by profit motive,” said Sacred Heart CEO Dr. Andrew Agwunobi.
This was also curious. After all, if the hospital is in such dire straits that it needed to cut staff, why was it involved in a buyout. With that buyout falling through, Agwunobi was able to secure this deal for expansion.
Providence is a non profit hospital. It pays no taxes. I've recently written a piece about non profits. Most watch dogs I've spoken with including one that watches over Providence itself agree that non profits acting like for profits while paying no taxes is a huge and under reported problem.