Hospital group rejects system and cashes in
A Southland doctor's company prospers by canceling insurance contracts and, some say, shortchanging patients.
The 58-year-old cardiologist has scooped up six of his eight hospitals in the last two years and could take over as many as six more in the coming months.
...More than a dozen current and former medical staffers and administrators interviewed by The Times said they were concerned that the company's business practices were putting patients in jeopardy. Many declined to talk on the record for fear of losing their job or being sued.
Experts say Prime Healthcare's unusual business model reduces patient access to services, significantly raises costs and, as the company grows, could destabilize California's healthcare system....
...Some describe Reddy as a bully who often clashes with his own medical staff. Two former associates, including a doctor, obtained restraining orders against him in 1999 for allegedly attacking the doctor and harassing an employee at the same facility. Reddy denied the allegations....
..."I am a healer, a challenger; I am a maverick," he said in a series of interviews with The Times. "There isn't anybody like Prem Reddy that can face so many challenges in the medical field."
Reddy said his company's approach allowed it to be more efficient than its rivals, and he remained unapologetic to those who said the company was too focused on the bottom line.
Patients, he said, may simply deserve only the amount of care they can afford....
...In 2005, two former nurses at Desert Valley Hospital won a lawsuit in which they claimed they were improperly fired after they accused hospital management of providing inadequate care to save money and Reddy of repeatedly reporting to work while under the influence of alcohol. (Reddy had first sued the nurses for breach of contract, alleging that they conspired to trigger investigations of his hospital by regulators.)
In an interview, Reddy acknowledged that he once had a drinking problem but denied that he ever treated patients after drinking. "I never did, I never will see a patient under the influence of alcohol," he said....
Jul 19, '07
Quote from spacenurse
Patients, he said, may simply deserve only the amount of care they can afford….
On edit: I see where Dr. Reddy has rebutted this statement. Who to believe? I don't know.
Last edit by Miss Chybil RN on Jul 19, '07