Hospital juggernaut adding three properties in California

Los Angeles Times, June 3, 2008
Prime Healthcare Services Inc., a rapidly growing and controversial California-based hospital chain, has bought one medical center and agreed to buy two more in Los Angeles and Orange counties. The move would establish the company as a regional powerhouse with as many hospitals as Kaiser Permanente. Under the deal, Prime Healthcare would grow to 12 hospitals. To increase the hospitals' profitability, Prime often cancels most insurance contracts, allowing it to charge insurers higher, nonnegotiated rates. Critics say the chain's business model puts profit above patients.

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