“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!