In December, BuzzFeed reported allegations against hospital giant UHS of bed-filling at all costs. The story sent the company’s stock plummeting.
The odyssey-like stories of patients held involuntarily in psych wards hit home for Las Vegas resident Judy Hendrickson, who in 2012, fought to free her elderly father from a three-day hold in Desert Springs Hospital’s Geropsych unit.
(Click here to watch my exclusive story from back then.)
Desert Springs is one of a dozen facilities in Nevada owned by UHS, the company targeted in the BuzzFeed story and follow up piece. Other UHS hospitals in the subsidiary Valley Health System include Valley Hospital, Henderson Hospital, Summerlin Hospital, Spring Valley Hospital and Centennial Hills.
UHS behavioral health facilities in Nevada have been plagued by lawsuits, regulatory defects related to the administration of medication without consent, unsafe patient discharges, under staffing, inadequate supervision of self-harming patients, patient assaults and incidents of alleged abuse and even patient deaths.
UHS operates 24 inpatient acute care hospitals, 213 inpatient and 16 outpatient behavioral health care facilities in 37 states, Washington, D.C., the United Kingdom, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Its insurance plan, Prominence Health Plan, is one of just three insurers doing business in Nevada’s ACA health insurance exchange.
Despite the company’s geographical diversity, in 2015 it derived 15% of its total revenue from Nevada.
UHS says it receives approximately $4.8 billion a year to treat Medicare and Medicaid patients, which accounts for more than half its total revenue. The company also gets hundreds of millions of dollars from the U.S military for behavioral health. The company says military patients make up 10% of UHS’ behavioral health business, which general $440 million in net revenue in 2015.
The chart below shows UHS’ stock performance compared with other leading for-profit hospital corporations since the BuzzFeed story appeared in December.
UHS created a website to refute the allegations.
(Originally posted at SEIU Nevada’s Blog)