NEW YORK, Jan. 6, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Pomerantz LLP announces that a class action lawsuit has been filed against Universal Health Services, Inc. ("Universal Health" or the "Company") (NYSE: UHS) and certain of its officers. The class action, filed in United States District Court, Central District of California, is on behalf of a class consisting of all persons or entities who purchased or otherwise acquired Universal Health securities between February 26, 2015 and December 7, 2016, both dates inclusive (the "Class Period"), seeking to recover compensable damages caused by defendants' violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
If you are a shareholder who purchased Universal Health securities during the Class Period, you have until February 21, 2017 to ask the Court to appoint you as Lead Plaintiff for the class. A copy of the Complaint can be obtained at www.pomerantzlaw.com. To discuss this action, contact Robert S. Willoughby at firstname.lastname@example.org or 888.476.6529 (or 888.4-POMLAW), toll free, ext. 9980. Those who inquire by e-mail are encouraged to include their mailing address, telephone number, and number of shares purchased.
Universal Health, through its subsidiaries, owns and operates acute care hospitals, behavioral health centers, surgical hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, and radiation oncology centers.
The Complaint alleges that throughout the Class Period, Defendants made materially false and/or misleading statements, as well as failed to disclose material adverse facts about the Company's business, operations, and prospects. Specifically, Defendants made false and/or misleading statements and/or failed to disclose that: (1) Universal Health admitted patients based on its own financial considerations and not upon the medical necessity of the patient; (2) Universal Health would keep patients admitted until their insurance payments ran out in order to ensure the maximum payment for its services; (3) as a result, Universal Health's revenues from inpatient care relied on unsustainable practices; (4) in turn, Universal Health lacked effective internal control concerning its practices and policies of admitting patients; and (5) as a result, Universal Health's public statements were materially false and misleading at all relevant times.
On December 7, 2016, BuzzFeed published an article titled "Intake", detailing its year-long investigation into Universal Health, which was "based on interviews with 175 current and former UHS staff, including 18 executives who ran UHS hospitals; more than 120 additional interviews with patients, government investigators, and other experts; and a cache of internal documents." The report stated that "[c]urrent and former employees from at least 10 UHS hospitals in nine states said they were under pressure to fill beds by almost any method – which sometimes meant exaggerating people's symptoms or twisting their words to make them seem suicidal – and to hold them until their insurance payments ran out." The report further stated that "[t]wo dozen current and former employees from 14 UHS facilities across the country told BuzzFeed News that the rule was to keep patients until their insurance ran out in order to get the maximum payment," and that "scores of employees from at least a dozen UHS hospitals said those facilities tried to keep beds filled even at the expense of the safety of their staff or the rights of the patients they were locking up." The report also quoted Rick Buckelew, a Universal Health employee who ran Austin Lakes Hospital in Texas until 2014, who stated that "[i]f an insurance company gave you so many days, you were expected to keep the patient there that many days" and that this "was a 'common practice' that was openly discussed in regional conferences as well as phone calls with hospital executives."
On this news, shares of Universal Health's share price fell $15.01, or nearly 12% from its previous closing price, to close at $111.36 on December 7, 2016, damaging investors.
The Pomerantz Firm, with offices in New York, Chicago, Florida, and Los Angeles, is acknowledged as one of the premier firms in the areas of corporate, securities, and antitrust class litigation. Founded by the late Abraham L. Pomerantz, known as the dean of the class action bar, the Pomerantz Firm pioneered the field of securities class actions. Today, more than 80 years later, the Pomerantz Firm continues in the tradition he established, fighting for the rights of the victims of securities fraud, breaches of fiduciary duty, and corporate misconduct. The Firm has recovered numerous multimillion-dollar damages awards on behalf of class members. See www.pomerantzlaw.com
Robert S. Willoughby
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SOURCE Pomerantz LLP