Union Members' Letters Call on UHS Board to Create a Quality of Care and Compliance Committee

On May 21, 2014,  Service Employees International Union (SEIU) members delivered letters on behalf of local unions in Massachusetts, Nevada, and Pennsylvania, and UHS workers throughout the country, calling on the UHS Board of Directors to create a qualified committee to oversee quality of care and compliance. Read our letters below:

We are concerned that UHS facilities are facing multiple government investigations and compliance failures that may place government reimbursements at risk.

Eleven UHS facilities were subpoenaed by the Office of Inspector General, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services in 2013. The U.S. Department of Justice is also conducting a criminal investigation into three UHS facilities in Florida.

UHS facilities have faced regulatory scrutiny resulting in threats of payment suspension or termination from government payment programs, including Southwest Healthcare System and Two Rivers Behavioral Health. Most recently, in April 2014, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) instituted a Medicare payment suspension at National Deaf Academy in Florida.

In addition to these investigations, reports issued by state and federal regulators reveal repeated issues related to inadequate staffing, patient security and patient abuse.

Unlike most of the for-profit hospital companies, UHS does not have a dedicated, board-level committee whose primary focus is quality and compliance. Not only does UHS not have a dedicated committee, but when we brought these concerns to their attention, the company said it has “determined that an additional oversight organization is not required.”

With all of the ongoing issues, with all of the investigations, it is simply unacceptable that a company which is the single largest inpatient behavioral health provider in the nation and a major acute care hospital operator believes that there is no need for a dedicated committee on such an important issue.