UHS stock tumbles 12% after BuzzFeed investigative report

Shares of King of Prussia, Pa.-based Universal Health Services fell 12 percent to $111.30 Wednesday after BuzzFeed published an investigative story alleging the company's psychiatric hospitals put profits ahead of patients, according to Barron's.

UHS' stock plunged Wednesday while the S&P 500 rose 1.1 percent, hitting a new all-time high of $2,241.35. The for-profit hospital operator's stock price was up for the day at 3:10 p.m. on Wednesday, when the BuzzFeed story went live. The sell-off began about five minutes later.

BuzzFeed's story, which is based on internal documents and interviews with 175 current and former UHS staff and more than 120 patients, government investigators and other experts, was the result of a yearlong BuzzFeed News investigation. It alleges UHS psychiatric hospitals kept patients longer than necessary and against their will to maximize reimbursement from insurers. The report also raised questions about the quality of care provided at the psychiatric hospitals.

UHS has denied the allegations in the BuzzFeed story. UHS' stock went up 1.01 percent during trading on Thursday, with the company's share price hitting $112.48. 

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