“Most hospitals aren’t held to a specific amount of charity care spending. However, California law allows the attorney general to put conditions on merger and acquisition approvals of not for-profit hospitals to ensure they continue to serve indigent populations and don’t cut off certain specialties. Harris was one of the first attorneys general to implement 10-year conditions, which was important to consumer advocates, said Jen Flory, policy advocate with the Western Center on Law & Poverty.
“It was something the purchasers did not like,” she said. “They were like, ‘Why is this going on for so long?’ But her staff was really attentive to all the details and the things that are going to matter to the community, whether it’s charity care or Medicaid managed care.”