Hospital group rejects system and cashes in

  1. 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....

    http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la...la-home-center
  2. Visit pickledpepperRN profile page

    About pickledpepperRN

    Joined: Mar '99; Posts: 13,361; Likes: 1,375

    10 Comments

  3. by   Dr. Prem Reddy
    The LA Times article, "Hospital Group Rejects System...", by Daniel Costello dated July 8, 2007 is full of distortions that portray me in a very negative light to sensationalize a story. Many statements I made during interviews with Mr. Costello were misrepresented in the article and were taken totally out of context. As a practicing physician for over 30 years, I take serious offense to Costello's gross assertion that I stated "that patients may simply deserve only the amount of care they can afford." This is preposterous and I was simply misquoted. It is my firm belief and strong conviction that every patient deserves care based on the nature and severity of illness and should not be based on financial status. The statement comparing the need for healthcare services to other essential needs was completely erroneous. Prime Healthcare Services and I stand by the belief that healthcare is a basic human right. This philosophy has guided our operations and business practice of more uninsured patients being seen in our emergency departments and more charity care provided in our hospitals, compared to both for-profit and not-for-profit competitors. I am especially troubled because thousands of patients and employees of Prime Healthcare Services' hospitals may be deeply hurt by this inaccurate, biased, and sensationalistic article. Prime Healthcare Services and I will continue to provide excellent patient care and will meet the goals and needs of our patients, the local communities, and the State of California.

    Prem Reddy, MD, FACC, FCCP

    Chairman of the Board

    Prime Healthcare Services, Inc.
  4. by   BBFRN
    Personally, I applaud the fact that you buy troubled hospitals and work to make them more technologically advanced. However, I have trouble with the report that you charge $10,000 per patient day, yet have a pattern of cutting about 10% of the staff in the hospitals you acquire. I would like to know if these cuts are in bedside nursing positions, or administration positions.
  5. by   UM Review RN
    Interesting thread.

    I'm looking forward to seeing updates.
  6. by   pickledpepperRN
    Dr. Reddy responds to newspaper article
    Executives at Prime Healthcare, Desert Valley Hospital’s parent company, sent a barrage of critical letters to the Los Angeles Times for its July 8 story about chairman Prem Reddy.

    Accusing its author, Daniel Costello, of “entirely fabricating” quotes and taking others out of context, Dr. Reddy and several colleagues said the story, which took a critical look at Dr. Reddy and his company, “is factually inaccurate and erroneous.”…

    …In response, Prime Healthcare president and CEO Lex Reddy said his company is not the problem but the solution.

    “When premiums were $100, insurance companies paid 85 percent. Now that premiums are $400 to $500, they’re still paying $85 to hospitals. The premiums have gone up, and they are pocketing all the money.”…

    http://www.vvdailypress.com/news/red...ealthcare.html
  7. by   BBFRN
    You know, Dr. Reddy does have a point there. If he can renegotiate reimbursement contracts to finance updating the technology and infrastructures of the hospitals he buys, I'm all for it. I forgot that his hospitals are in CA, so staff cuts may not be so much of an issue- unless he let go all the experienced bedside nurses, and hired in new and cheaper nurses.
  8. by   returningnurse2006
    http://www.ocregister.com/ocregister...le_1761837.php

    Anaheim Memorial sale blocked
    Dr. Prem Reddy had offered $55 million for the 224-bed hospital.
    BY COURTNEY PERKES
    The Orange County Register
    The state Attorney General's office announced today that hospital owner Dr. Prem Reddy will not be allowed to buy Anaheim Memorial Medical Center.
    State officials must approve the conversion of nonprofit hospitals to for-profit operations like those owned by Reddy, including West Anaheim Medical Center, Huntington Beach Hospital and La Palma Intercommunity.
    In a letter posted late today on the Attorney General's Web site, Chief Deputy James Humes said he could not conclude that the sale was consistent with public interest. Humes noted that some alternative bidders had indicated "tentative willingness to pay substantially more for Anaheim than offered by Prime (Healthcare Services)."
    In February, Memorial Health Services agreed to sell Reddy the hospital for $55 million. Last month, the state held a hearing on the proposed sale that drew more than 200 people.
    Some community members and union representatives spoke out against the sale because they feared quality would decline if the hospital was no longer nonprofit.
    Reddy said the state's decision has nothing to do with the quality of his operations.
    "I support the decision of the Attorney General and I hope they will reopen the bidding process," Reddy said. "And if they do, Prime Healthcare Services will be there to meet the challenges."
    714-796-3686 or cperkes@ocregister.com
  9. by   Miss Chybil RN
    Quote from spacenurse

    Patients, he said, may simply deserve only the amount of care they can afford….
    I'm speechless.

    :angryfire

    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
  10. by   canoehead
    Quote from spacenurse
    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....

    http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la...la-home-center
    How many ER nurses out there have seen a chronic alcoholic looking fully functional, smelling a bit like ETOH, and vowing he was completely sober? And how many times does the ETOH level top 200?

    An alcoholic never knows how drunk he really is.
  11. by   TrudyRN
    I hope he will soon need the services of his own hospital - and be unable to get them. This will open his eyes, perhaps, to the suffering he inflicts on others. And if I state my further thoughts, I know the mods will have to censure me so I'll be quiet and let you guess.
  12. by   teeituptom
    Quote from returningnurse2006
    http://www.ocregister.com/ocregister...le_1761837.php

    Anaheim Memorial sale blocked
    Dr. Prem Reddy had offered $55 million for the 224-bed hospital.
    BY COURTNEY PERKES
    The Orange County Register
    The state Attorney General's office announced today that hospital owner Dr. Prem Reddy will not be allowed to buy Anaheim Memorial Medical Center.
    State officials must approve the conversion of nonprofit hospitals to for-profit operations like those owned by Reddy, including West Anaheim Medical Center, Huntington Beach Hospital and La Palma Intercommunity.
    In a letter posted late today on the Attorney General's Web site, Chief Deputy James Humes said he could not conclude that the sale was consistent with public interest. Humes noted that some alternative bidders had indicated "tentative willingness to pay substantially more for Anaheim than offered by Prime (Healthcare Services)."
    In February, Memorial Health Services agreed to sell Reddy the hospital for $55 million. Last month, the state held a hearing on the proposed sale that drew more than 200 people.
    Some community members and union representatives spoke out against the sale because they feared quality would decline if the hospital was no longer nonprofit.
    Reddy said the state's decision has nothing to do with the quality of his operations.
    "I support the decision of the Attorney General and I hope they will reopen the bidding process," Reddy said. "And if they do, Prime Healthcare Services will be there to meet the challenges."
    714-796-3686 or cperkes@ocregister.com
    I worked there over 30 years ago. Glad to see its still alive and kicking

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