Universal Health Services (NYSE: UHS)
Shares of Universal Health Service got hammered today after news hit that employees were pressured into keeping patients as long as they could until their health insurance payments ran out. Shares sold off very hard and finished the day down over 12% with the only real buying coming from shorts covering their positions. I would expect this name to stay heavy over the next few days as traders digest the news.
Universal Health Services Bloomberg Notes
“Universal Health Services employees were under pressure to fill beds and hold patients until their insurance payments ran out, a Buzzfeed News investigation found.
UHS falls as much as 8.1%, most since Nov. 9
Buzzfeed investigation based on interviews with 175 former and current UHS staff, including 18 executives, as well as 120 interviews with patients, government investigators and other experts
Methods to fill beds could include exaggerating people’s symptoms, twisting their words to make them seem suicidal
UHS investigated for Medicare fraud, probe involves more than 1 in 10 UHS hospitals
~20 employees Buzzfeed spoke to said UHS operated ethically and provided high-quality care
Buzzfeed analysis of Medicare claims showed UHS hospitals steadily increased the frequency with which they described patients as experiencing suicidal ideation
After UHS purchased ~100 hospitals from Psychiatric Solutions Inc., these hospital’s billing for “suicidal ideation” increased more than sixfold
UHS responded to Buzzfeed’s investigation in a statement, denied allegations it held patients for financial gain and said it had a record of providing high quality care.” – Bloomberg
Universal Health Services, Inc. operates as a healthcare management company, which through its subsidiaries, owns and operates acute care hospitals, behavioral health centers, surgical hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers and radiation oncology centers. It operates through the Acute Care Hospital Services and Behavioral Health Care Services segments. The company was founded by Alan B. Miller in 1978 and is headquartered in King of Prussia, PA. –MarketWatch