Just a few days ago it was out in the news at Bloomberg that Community Health System was a potential suitor for buying up Community Health Systems..only problem is HMA has their own problems with subpoenas from July of 2011 too, see link below. A couple months ago the HMA CEO got out of Dodge with a hedge fund chasing him down the road.
HMA Hospital CEO To Retire Amid Pressure From Hedge Fund Glenview Capital While Investigation Over Admission Procedures Continues With 3rd Party Software Vendor
From 2011 – Community Subpoenas
Community Health Systems Receives Subpoena–Bring in Your Algorithms Used By Pro-MED 3rd Party Software for the ER
SEC Issues Community Health A Subpoena Related to Emergency Room Practices-The Gang’s All Here With Tenet, HHS and So On
In December of 2012 60 Minutes did a story on HMA with their admissions policies and if you have not seen it, watch it, especially if you are in Health IT for sure as we know the mechanics of how this stuff gets put together. I have heard it too with admission quotas here in California from doctors who are either hospitalists or work in the ER about being pushed to get more people admitted when the filled bed counts get low. It does happen and doctors just absolutely get infuriated and I don’t blame them when they hear such language. You can go back and visit a classic from about 3 years ago from the TMA on their story and video on that topic to where they fired the ER doctors as they wouldn’t play.
Back in 2010 Community Health tried to buy Tenet in a somewhat bullish type of take over to even suggest who should on their board. Tenet as you know just ended up buying Vanguard, recently filed lawsuits against Community Health and went about their business. Well they may not have as much cash now as they did when they tried to do a hostile take over of Tenet.
Another big hospital chain HCA about a year ago said we are billing better now and that’s the reason for our increased profits and pulled off a huge IPO, this was where Rick Scott, governor of Florida was kind of forced to retire from due to their past legal issues with their huge Medicare fraud settlement.. Last year profits at the health care industry giant HCA, which controls 163 hospitals from New Hampshire to California, soared, far outpacing those of most of its competitors. Nobody seems to but them of late with questions though and you wonder why that is with CMS talking about catching fraud all the time. Instead hospitals and doctors and their associations got a letter that said we think all of you cheat from Sebelius and Holder at the DOJ.
Oh gosh all this big business going on, hospitals battling to merge and stay in business and make money, well folks this seems to be our future and the priorities as Wall Street algorithms for profit keep pushing and who knows what they will leave us when they are done. BD
The U.S. Justice Department hit Community Health Systems with an additional subpoena and a request to interview two high-ranking executives, escalating a two-year Justice Department investigation into the company's admissions practices from its emergency departments.
The Franklin, Tenn.-based chain disclosed the revelations in an earnings preview that also showed a sharp 57.2% decline in net income, which it attributed to weak patient volume, higher-than-expected bad debt and an adverse payer mix.
On July 9, shortly after its second meeting, it received the subpoena, which expanded on an earlier April 2011 subpoena to request “documents that support the factual refutations and defenses that the company has articulated during its discussions with the government.”
The documents include, for example, its criteria for observation status and its financial relationships with physicians who have admitting privileges, the company said.
Health Management Associates, Naples, Fla., is also under investigation into its short-stay admissions, and received similar subpoenas in May and July 2011. The company used the same emergency department management software as Community.
It also said it expects to report a 5.7% drop in same-facility admissions and a 2.6% decline in adjusted same-facility admissions, a measure that also accounts for outpatient activity.