Billionaire doctor Patrick Soon-Shiong to take over 6 California hospitals

NantWorks, the company run by billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong, MD, will take over operations at six California hospitals after acquiring controlling interest in Integrity Healthcare, the management company of Verity Health System.

The hospitals now under NantWorks control include St. Vincent Medical Center in Los Angeles, the city’s oldest hospital, as well as St. Francis Medical Center in Lynwood, O’Connor Hospital in San Jose, St. Louise Regional Hospital in Gilroy, Seton Medical Center in Daly City and Seton Coastside in Moss Beach. Combined, the facilities include 1,650 inpatient beds.

“Our commitment is to enhance the scope and resources of Verity Health so that, together, we can deliver the breakthrough treatments and cures that save lives, provide better patient outcomes and improve well-being,” Soon-Shiong said in a statement. “We will achieve this by applying the limitless powers of collaborative science and technology to transform healthcare practices and create a more efficient, more effective health system. Medical care is local and we strongly believe that community health systems should be supported with investment, technology and science to build next generation clinically integrated networks to drive better outcomes at a lower cost.”

He told the Los Angeles Times the acquisition provides the opportunity for experimenting “at scale” with some of his ideas, like geonomic testing. Those initiatives haven’t been widely adopted, with NantWorks reporting just 365 orders for those tests in the first quarter of 2017.

“It makes sense to me that this would be a way to guarantee faster adoption of some of the products of some of his companies,” Gerald Kominski, director of the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, told the Times. “The ability of a hospital administrator to dictate clinical practice is limited, but that doesn’t mean there’s no influence.”