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Downey's community hospital is just average, according to the nonprofit Leapfrog Group, which graded dozens of Southern California hospitals after an analysis of patient safety records.
Meanwhile, Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital of Whittier, the leading candidate to acquire Downey Regional Medical Center, also rated a "C".
Kaiser Permanente hospitals scored highest, with 11 Kaiser medical centers receiving "A" grades, including the Downey hospital.
Grades are available online at HospitalSafetyScore.org.