Online News Site Continues to Misinterpret Prime Healthcare Data

Oct 14, 2011, 17:36 ET from Prime Healthcare Services

ONTARIO, Calif., Oct. 14, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Prime Healthcare Services is disappointed that California Watch has once again cherry-picked and misinterpreted complicated medical data and used what the company believes are biased or misinformed sources to create a story with little substance or accuracy.

All medical diagnoses, especially the unusual ailments reported in this current story, are routinely audited by Medicare-contracted agencies, including RAC (Recovery Audit Contractor) and HSAG (Health Services Advisory Group). These agencies found no significant issues with Prime Healthcare hospitals compared to other hospitals across the nation.

Despite the fact that earlier stories about Prime Healthcare hospitals proved to be inaccurate, the online news site continues to peddle misinformation from the Service Employees International Union, which has been running a corporate campaign of vilification against Prime Healthcare, and unfairly malign treating physicians and medical staff under the guise of credible journalism. Prime Healthcare previously filed a complaint with the U.S. Attorney's Office alleging extortion by SEIU.

For nearly a year, California Watch accused medical staff of misdiagnosing septicemia, a blood infection, and malnutrition. The California Department of Public Health recently dismissed the diagnosing allegations. Previously, The Joint Commission and the Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program (HFAP), two Medicare accreditation organizations, found no evidence to support the accusations.  

California Watch ignores that when patients are accurately diagnosed, they have shorter hospital stays and fewer repeat admissions. In other words, the quality of care improves and overall healthcare costs decrease. In the end, this saves money and, more importantly, saves lives.

The reporters also have only focused on diagnoses at Prime Healthcare hospitals and ignored data that compares how other companies, including Kaiser Permanente, diagnosed their patients.

In addition, the news site has used state Sen. Ed Hernandez as a major source in earlier stories. Sen. Hernandez has major financial ties with Kaiser, which is a competitor of Prime Healthcare. This fact has never been disclosed by California Watch.

Prime Healthcare is battling Kaiser in court, seeking more than $100 million in past due bills, while the Los Angeles Times reported that Kaiser has funneled nearly $400,000 since 2006 to a corporation owned by Sen. Hernandez. Prime Healthcare also has continually battled with SEIU over unreasonable and costly union demands. SEIU has a labor-management partnership with Kaiser and is a key political backer of Sen. Hernandez.

Prime Healthcare Services

Ontario, CA-based Prime Healthcare Services, recognized as one of the top 10 health systems in the country, is a progressive, innovative and rapidly expanding hospital management company with a mission to provide comprehensive quality healthcare in a compassionate, convenient and cost-effective manner.

With over 10,000 employees, Prime Healthcare Services currently owns and/or operates 12 acute care facilities: Alvarado Hospital Medical Center, Centinela Hospital Medical Center, Chino Valley Medical Center, Desert Valley Hospital, Garden Grove Hospital Medical Center, Huntington Beach Hospital, La Palma Intercommunity Hospital, Paradise Valley Hospital, San Dimas Community Hospital, Shasta Regional Medical Center, Sherman Oaks Hospital, and West Anaheim Medical Center.  

Nine of these hospitals are accredited by Joint Commission and seven of the nine hospitals were recently recognized as Top Performers in the Nation (Top 14%) on Key Quality Measures by Joint Commission, a Medicare accreditation agency.

Prime Healthcare Services Foundation

The Foundation is a nonprofit public charity that was founded by Dr. Prem Reddy and his family reflecting their commitment to give back to the communities that they serve.

The Foundation owns and operates two nonprofit hospitals, Encino Hospital Medical Center and Montclair Hospital Medical Center (a Top 100 Hospital in the Nation in 2009), and is governed by an independent Board of Directors.  Both hospitals were recently recognized as Top Performers in the Nation (Top 14%) on Key Quality Measures by Joint Commission, a Medicare accreditation agency.

SOURCE Prime Healthcare Services