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Once scrutinized by the government, former HCA CEO Rick Scott soon will govern

NPR, November 5, 2010

For those of us who've covered health care for a while, the rebirth of Rick Scott as politician and soon-to-be governor of Florida is really quite breathtaking.

It wasn't so long ago that Scott built the biggest and brashest chain of hospitals in the land. Back in the '90s, Columbia/HCA, as the company was then called, had hospitals from coast to coast and a reputation as one shrewdly run operation.

But there was trouble under the surface, as whistle-blowers and government investigations ultimately revealed.

Columbia/HCA's profits were fueled in part by kickbacks paid to doctors and inflated bills sent to Medicare and Medicaid, the Justice Department alleged.

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