10 Things to Know About Prime Healthcare Services

Ontario, Calif.-based Prime Healthcare Services is one of the largest and most rapidly expanding, private for-profit hospital operators in the country.

Here are 10 things to know about Prime Healthcare.

1. Prime Healthcare currently operates 25 acute-care hospitals across California, Kansas, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Texas. Overall, Prime Healthcare has more than 30,000 employees and 4,675 patient beds.

2. Prime Healthcare appears to be using an aggressive merger and acquisition strategy to expand its presence. Recent deals include an agreement to acquire Garden City (Mich.) Hospital, the purchase of Landmark Medical Center in Woonsocket, R.I., and the planned acquisition of several New Jersey hospitals, including Saint Michael's Medical Center in Newark and Saint Mary's Hospital in Passaic

3. Although industry experts have observed some larger for-profit hospital operators are becoming more selective in the smaller providers they acquire, Prime Healthcare seems to still be willing to take on financially troubled facilities. For example, Saint Mary's Hospital — which Prime Healthcare has applied to acquire— has been struggling financially for a number of years and currently has about $39 million in long-term outstanding debt and $5.1 million in a working capital line of credit.

4. This past September, the hospital operator issued $475 million in debt, partly to help finance its hospital acquisitions. The debt was broken down into a $250 million senior secured term loan and a $225 million asset-based credit facility, with the term loan going toward acquisition financing.

5. Prime Healthcare has also invested a considerable amount in infrastructure improvements. From 2005 to 2012, the organization invested approximately $65 million in capital improvements and equipment for its facilities.

6. Prem Reddy, MD, serves as the hospital operator's chairman, president and CEO. Dr. Reddy is double board-certified in internal medicine and cardiology and practiced for 25 years in Southern California, performing more than 5,000 cardiac procedures. He founded Prime Healthcare in 2001.

7. In 2006, Dr. Reddy founded the Prime Healthcare Services Foundation, a nonprofit public charity that owns six non-profit hospitals in California. Each of the hospitals was donated to the foundation and is considered a community asset.

8. Eight of Prime Healthcare's hospitals were included in Truven Health Analytics' 100 Top Hospitals list for 2014. Prime Healthcare hospitals have been recognized by Truven 27 times since 2003.

9. In 2013, 11 Prime Healthcare hospitals earned national recognition as "Top Performer on Key Quality Measures" from The Joint Commission.

10. Prime Healthcare has dealt with several legal issues and allegations surrounding Medicare billing. California Watch, an investigative news outlet, reported a few years ago that Prime's Shasta Regional Medical Center in Redding, Calif., billed Medicare for more than 1,100 cases of kwashiorkor after Prime took it over in 2008. Kwashiorkor is a form of severe protein malnutrition that mostly affects children in famine-stricken areas and developing countries. In the past year or so, the HHS Office of Inspector General has been cracking down on erroneous kwashiorkor billing and related overpayments. Although Prime Healthcare has defended its billing practices, it has curbed its billing of the condition. Additionally, earlier this year, an employee whistle-blower claimed Prime Healthcare submitted $50 million in false claims for Medicare patient stays.

More Articles on Prime Healthcare:
Layoffs Occur at St. Mary's Hospital Prior to Prime Takeover
Prime Healthcare to Enter Michigan With Garden City Hospital Purchase  
Prime Healthcare, UnitedHealthcare Expand Agreement 


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