Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

'60 Minutes' report: Hospital buying Bayfront pressed for more hospital admissions

The Naples-based hospital chain poised to buy Bayfront Medical Center is accused of pressuring doctors at some of its hospitals to admit patients regardless of medical need just to increase revenues, the CBS program 60 Minutes reported Sunday.

Doctors at several Health Management Associates hospitals — none in Florida — told 60 Minutes that administrators had set quotas for admissions through their emergency rooms. The accusations centered on hospitals in Pennsylvania, Texas, Arkansas and South Carolina.

Alan Levine, an HMA senior vice president and Florida Group president, denied the allegations. Levine is a former secretary for the Florida agency for Health Care Administration. He and other HMA officials said Friday that the company's emergency-patient admissions are in line with the rest of the industry.

He also tried to stress that patients' doctors, not hospital officials, make decisions about whether admissions are needed.

In October, Bayfront Medical Center announced plans to join HMA's chain of hospitals. Bayfront and HMA plan to close the deal in March pending approval from the city of St. Petersburg, which owns the land on which the hospital sits.

HMA disclosed in previous U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission filings that federal authorities have been investigating certain aspects of the company, including "the medical necessity of emergency room tests and patient admissions."

It said the investigations had been opened by the inspector general of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Justice, with at least part of the issue focused on whether a type of emergency room software led to unnecessary admissions or tests. The federal government has a huge stake in such issues because of the Medicare program.

HMA has 70 hospitals in 15 states, with the largest concentrations in Florida, Alabama and North Carolina, according to its website. The company's 22 Florida hospitals are generally in small or medium-sized markets.

HMA is also a prominent player in hospital issues in Tallahassee. Its lobbyists include former state GOP chairman Al Cardenas.

'60 Minutes' report: Hospital buying Bayfront pressed for more hospital admissions 12/02/12 [Last modified: Sunday, December 2, 2012 10:04pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Search for missing Army helicopter crew suspended in Hawaii

    Military

    HONOLULU — Officials have suspended the search for five Army soldiers who were aboard a helicopter that crashed during offshore training in Hawaii last week.

    Water safety officials hand over possible debris from an Army UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter crash to military personnel stationed at a command center in a harbor, Wednesday in Haleiwa, Hawaii, a day after. an Army helicopter with five on board crashed several miles off Oahu's North Shore. Officials  suspended the search for five Army soldiers in a helicopter crash during offshore training in Hawaii on Monday. [Associated Press]
  2. Rubio praises Trump for 'excellent' speech on Afghanistan

    Blogs

    Sen. Marco Rubio praised President Donald Trump's "excellent" speech on Afghanistan. Sen. Bill Nelson was less effusive but agreed with the goal.

  3. Gov. Rick Scott blasts report of shifting words on Charlottesville

    Blogs

    Gov. Rick Scott, one of the most scripted politicians in modern Florida history, said Monday that ‘both sides” bore blame for Charlottesville.

  4. Record $417 million awarded in lawsuit linking baby powder to cancer

    Nation

    LOS ANGELES — A Los Angeles jury on Monday ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay a record $417 million to a hospitalized woman who claimed in a lawsuit that the talc in the company's iconic baby powder causes ovarian cancer when applied regularly for feminine hygiene.

    A bottle of Johnson's baby powder is displayed. On Monday, Aug. 21, 2017, a Los Angeles County Superior Court spokeswoman confirmed that a jury has ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $417 million in a case to a woman who claimed in a lawsuit that the talc in the company's iconic baby powder causes ovarian cancer when applied regularly for feminine hygiene. [Associated Press]
  5. Search under way for missing sailors; Navy chief orders inquiry

    Military

    SINGAPORE — The U.S. Navy ordered a broad investigation Monday into the performance and readiness of the Pacific-based 7th Fleet after the USS John S. McCain collided with an oil tanker in Southeast Asian waters, leaving 10 U.S. sailors missing and others injured.

    Damage is visible as the USS John S. McCain steers toward Singapore’s naval base on Monday.