UHS Behind Closed Doors is bringing to light serious problems in care at Universal Health Services Inc., America’s largest provider of inpatient behavioral health care.
This website — a project of the Service Employees International Union — is a comprehensive resource for patient advocates, reporters and others seeking information about UHS.
Twenty-one of UHS’s behavioral health facilities are currently under investigation by federal officials, and three of them as well as the UHS corporate office are being probed by the Justice Department’s Criminal Fraud Section. (A full list of the facilities is here.)
Feds’ Probe into UHS Raises Questions about Care
The breadth of the investigation into UHS has led to speculation that the government may be building a major health care fraud case against the for-profit hospital chain. In 2013 when the first round of subpoenas were served to UHS, a for-profit company whose stock trades on the New York Stock Exchange, a Wall Street analyst noted that “[w]hile inquiries into behavioral facilities are not uncommon…it’s been less common to see coordinated subpoenas served in multiple facilities as appears to be the case here.”
UHS has achieved unusually high profit margins at its behavioral health facilities. UHS’s behavioral health division recorded a lofty 28.1 percent operating margin in 2013 — nearly double the 14.8 percent operating margin at its acute care facilities. UHS officials have told investors that reducing staffing costs and keeping occupancy rates high in its behavioral health division has helped generate those robust profits.
However, cutting staffing too low can endanger both patients and staff. UHS Behind Closed Doors has discovered incidents at many of UHS’s nearly 200 behavioral health facilities nationwide where inadequate staffing was a factor in serious lapses in care.
Documenting the Problems at UHS
This website documents the problems at UHS with a wealth of source materials — including federal and state regulatory complaints obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests, lawsuits filed by whistleblowers, UHS financial filings as well as links to many news stories about the company. Most of the primary sources referenced on UHSBehindClosedDoors.org can be downloaded from this website.
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