“First, Do No Harm”

July 15th, 2007 11:12 pm
Hospital group rejects system and cashes in

A Southland doctor’s company prospers by canceling insurance contracts and, some say, shortchanging patients.

By Daniel Costello / Los Angeles Times

As he piloted his new, $1.4-million helicopter from his Apple Valley home to Orange County one recent morning, Dr. Prem Reddy enjoyed a cloudless view of his growing empire.

Today, the five-seat Eurocopter EC120 whisks him to Anaheim, where he recently agreed to buy two hospitals. On other days, he sweeps over endless miles of gridlock to his facilities in Sherman Oaks, Huntington Beach and San Diego.

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.

The buying spree is making his company one of the largest hospital owners in the state, placing it in a position to challenge industry leaders including Kaiser Permanente and Catholic Healthcare West.

“There’s a lot of sacrifice in a doctor’s life,” Reddy said, over the whir of the chopper’s blades. “But there are many rewards.”

Read the rest – you won’t believe your eyes!

Say “When.”

  1. The article is a sensationalistic piece. The statement, “Patients, [Dr. Prem Reddy] said, may simply deserve only the amount of care they can afford,” is appalling and goes against all of my beliefs. As a dedicated physician for over 30 years, I have committed my life to patient service and providing the highest quality of care to any and all patients. I believe medical care is a basic human right, and we have an obligation to provide the best possible care in every situation.

    Compassionate patient care for all is the foundation of Prime Healthcare Services and its hospitals. In fact, Prime Healthcare Services’ hospitals see more uninsured patients and provide more charity care than most other for-profit and not-for-profit hospitals. They have received numerous national awards for outstanding patient care and community service. Prime Healthcare Services and I will continue to serve our communities and stay committed to providing the highest quality of compassionate care to all patients.
    The writer is chairman of Prime Healthcare Services Inc.

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