[June 27, 2016] OAKLAND, Calif. – Prime Healthcare has taken a double-blow as the U.S. Department of Justice released disturbing details last Friday in a Medicare fraud lawsuit against Prime, and the U.S. Supreme Court today refused to hear the company’s appeal of an anti-trust lawsuit against healthcare workers.
“Prime continues to misuse the court system to try to silence workers who speak out about problems in the hospital system, but fortunately the courts see right through it and keep dealing the company high-profile and embarrassing defeats,” said Dave Regan, president of SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW). “If Prime put into providing quality healthcare a fraction of the effort they put into endless litigation, everyone would be better off.”
The Department of Justice, which last month announced it was intervening in an employee’s whistlebower lawsuit against the company, released new damning information about Prime’s business practices. According to the Department of Justice complaint, Prime Healthcare and its CEO, Prem Reddy, engaged in the following deceptive conduct:
The complaint described growing pressure within the company to needlessly admit patients, in what at times resembled a twisted competition.
Attempts to settle the Prime employee’s lawsuit have been exhausted and the prospect of a trial is now likely. If the case goes to trial and Prime Healthcare is found guilty of violating the law, it could be barred under federal law from receiving Medicare funding, a huge financial blow to the company.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear Prime’s appeal of a decision by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals from March 2016 that dismissed an anti-trust suit Prime filed against SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW). The company has now exhausted its appeals, which puts an end to its lawsuit.
SEIU-UHW and Prime Healthcare Services are involved in a labor dispute.