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HCA Investigations No Harm to its Finances

Jacqueline Fellows, for HealthLeaders Media, September 21, 2012

HCA's latest settlement with the DOJ is the latest hit to the for-profit hospital chain, which, just a month ago, disclosed to investors on a second quarter earnings call that it was under a federal investigation by the DOJ for cardiac procedures performed at hospitals in Florida.

On the call, HCA pre-empted a New York Times investigation into its care of the indigent population and payment of ER doctors. That federal probe is ongoing and is unrelated to Wednesday's settlement.  HCA stock closed down the day after the August 6th second quarter earnings call, but since then its stock price has risen by $6.96 per share.

"They're in very strong position, financially," says CRT's Skolnick. Perhaps because the company was only released from its eight-year CIA in 2009, she says she doesn't see evidence of a widespread problem at HCA. "The behaviors you learn while someone is watching your every move are hard to shake off," says Skolnick.

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