Buyer steps in, saves Daly City’s Seton Hospital from closure

A financially struggling hospital on the Peninsula, on the verge of shutting down, will be keeping its door open.

A buyer has stepped in to save Seton Medical Center in Daly City.

AHMC Healthcare has purchased both Seton Medical Center and Seton Coastside in Moss Beach for $40 million.

Seton has struggled financially for nearly a decade.

The deal should keep the hospital operating for the next five-and-a-half years.

It went into bankruptcy under the previous owner, Verity Health Systems.

“It's a sigh of relief, if you may, by saying, wow, it's finally done and we can actually really focus on delivering care for the community,” said Anthony Armada, CEO of Seton Medical Center.

“I think that's tremendous. The Bay Area needs that and the neighborhood needs it,” said Mark Kennedy of Daly City.

Keeping Seton open has been considered important for several reasons.  

Geographically, its closure would have created a healthcare desert, as there are few nearby alternatives.

Also, it’s considered a “safety net” facility serving many low-income and elderly patients on Medical and Medicare, who need convenient access to healthcare.

“So, if they are not able to access a ‘safety net’ hospital there would be a hardship then for these patients to get healthcare in particular,” said Armada.

More than 1,000 jobs are also being saved.

San Mateo County Supervisor, David Canepa, fought to keep the hospital open and says $20 million from the county and a non-profit, to help with costs such as a seismic retrofit, helped solidify the deal. 

“I think that was a big part and making sure they understand that the county is committed to making sure that Seton remains open,” said Canepa.

Seton has been instrumental during the pandemic, treating many Covid-19 patients, including those from the prison outbreak at San Quentin.

Though the new deal does not guarantee the hospitals future, all parties are thinking long-term.

“We are very committed to make sure that we create a viable organization for this community for many years to come,” said Armada.

“I am extraordinarily confident in AHMC that they'll make this hospital sustainable,” said Canepa.

Many hospitals have been struggling financially during the pandemic, as the suspension of elective procedures led to a loss of revenue during initial stay-at-home orders.

The CEO of Seton says he believes if they continue to focus on quality care and use their resources wisely, they can be around long-term.