Providence St. Joseph Watch
Keeping a watchful eye on the nation’s ever expanding third largest hospital chain.
Providence St. Joseph: A growing problem for patients.
Through a series of mergers, Providence St. Joseph Health has emerged as the nation’s third largest nonprofit health care corporation with 51 hospitals and more than 800 clinics mostly along the West Coast. But with each acquisition Providence executives have slashed services, laid off caregivers, and sought to maximize profits at the expense of patients.
In 2012, Providence Health and Services took over Swedish Medical Center, the largest nonprofit hospital system serving Seattle. Five years later, the Swedish Neuroscience Institute was under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice and its top surgeon and top executive resigned in disgrace.
The scandal stemmed from a Seattle Times investigation finding that under Providence’s stewardship, the institute incentivized doctors to perform as many surgeries as possible — including multiple surgeries at the same time — and opt for more invasive procedures to maximize profits.
Doctors who challenged Providence St. Joseph’s profit-first agenda faced harsh retribution from management, the paper reported. “This toxic, repressive environment has already negatively impacted the ability of the (institute) to provide the quality care to our patients that they deserve,” Dr. Charles Cobbs wrote to the institute’s top executive.
In 2016 Providence St. Joseph Health was formed through a merger of Providence Health & Services, headquartered in Washington State and St. Joseph Health, headquartered in California. Both entities were started by nuns dedicated to caring for their communities. And both strayed from their core values as they were taken over by corporate executives.
With Providence executives in Washington effectively running the entity, Providence St. Joseph immediately reneged on its commitment to then California Attorney General Kamala Harris that 13 of its hospitals would provide $72 million per year in charity care, helping patients who couldn’t afford their medical bills.
The charity care requirement was put in place to justify Providence St. Joseph’s tax-free nonprofit status and safeguard communities where Providence now had a local hospital monopoly. However, in the first year following the merger, the Providence St. Joseph hospitals fell $20 million short of their commitment even though they reported a combined $431 operating profit.
The only people who benefitted from the Providence St. Joseph merger were the new company’s executives. Providence St. Joseph CEO Rod Hochman’s total compensation more than doubled from $4.1 million in 2016 to $10.5 million in 2017.
Meanwhile, the company has poached million-dollar executives from Amazon and Microsoft and launched technology funds, while cutting frontline caregivers. It announced 210 layoffs in 2017 and another 550 at Swedish last year. It also laid off caregivers who feed and bathe patients at California hospitals, worsening an already severe staffing crisis.
Now, Providence St. Joseph is looking to merge with Adventist Health in six Northern California counties. The new entity would have practically no competition north of the Bay Area, giving it free reign to consolidate services, slash budges, and layoff caregivers. Click here to sign up for alerts about the Adventist merger
Is your hospital on the list?
- Centralia: Providence Centralia Hospital
- Chewelah: Providence St. Joseph’s Hospital
- Colville: Providence Mount Carmel Hospital
- Everett: Providence Regional Medical Center
- Olympia: Providence St. Peter Hospital
- Spokane: Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center & Children’s Hospital
- Spokane: Providence Holy Family Hospital
- Walla Walla: Providence St. Mary Medical Center
- Kadlec Regional Medical Center
- Ballard Campus
- Cherry Hill Campus
- Edmonds Campus
- First Hill Campus
- Issaquah Campus
- Mill Creek Campus
- Redmond Campus
- Kadlec Regional Medical Center
- Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital
- St. Joseph Hospital Eureka
- Redwood Memorial Hospital
- Queen of the Valley Hospital
- Petaluma Valley Hospital
- Apple Valley: St. Mary Medical Center
- Fullerton: St. Jude Medical Center
- Mission Viejo: Mission Hospital
- Orange: St. Joseph Hospital
- Laguna Beach: Mission Hospital Laguna Beach
- Providence Holy Cross Medical Center
- Torrance: Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center Torrance
- San Pedro: Providence Little Company of Mary San Pedro
- Providence Saint John’s Health Center
- Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center
- Providence Tarzana Medical Center
- Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian
- Saint John’s Health Center
- Children’s Hospital of Orange County
- Covenant Children’s Hospital
- Covenant Health Levelland
- Covenant Health Plainview
- Covenant Medical Center
- Covenant Specialty Hospital
- Covenant Medical Center – Lakeside Campus
- Providence Alaska Medical Center
- Providence Kodiak Island Medical Center
- Providence Seward Medical Center
- St. Elias Specialty Hospital
- Providence Valdez Medical Center
- Providence St. Patrick Hospital
- Providence St. Joseph Medical Center
- Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital
- Providence Medford Medical Center
- Providence Milwaukie Hospital
- Providence Newberg Medical Center
- Providence Portland Medical Center
- Providence Seaside Hospital
- Providence St. Vincent Medical Center
- Providence Willamette Falls Medical Center