NewsChannel10 Investigates: Area hospital under new ownership - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

NewsChannel10 Investigates: Area hospital under new ownership

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PAMPA, Texas- A California company facing allegations it fraudulently billed insurance companies to increase profits is now edging into Texas with the purchase of Pampa Regional Medical Hospital.

Prime Healthcare Services out of Ontaria, California has a reputation for purchasing hospitals that are in distress and financial trouble.

The company denies any wrongdoing and says they are here to change things for the better.

Brad Morse is the CEO of Prime Healthcare at the Pampa Regional Medical Center.

On June 1, the company completed the last step in buying the hospital.

Digging into Prime Healthcare's past, there's been a lot of bad publicity swirling over claims the company engaged in shady billing practices with Medicare and other insurance companies. 

The organization denies those allegations.

"Any complaint is investigated," spokesman Edward Barrera said. "If somebody calls with any allegations, the California Department of Health will investigate."

The company stands confident there is no evidence of any wrongdoing.

"From what I understand, nothing was found when they were investigated," Morse said.

The investigative news site California Watch claims they analyzed more than 50 million Medicare records and found what they say are thousands of cases in which Prime billed for high unusual, costly conditions.

The company calls that statement fictitious.

Prime Healthcare operates 12 hospitals in California and recently took control of Harlingen's Medical Center in Texas in December.

"Our goal is to provide quality, cost-effective care to patients," Morse added.

Barrerra told NewsChannel 10 over the phone that the company has been looking into hospitals outside California because that state is "not business friendly."

He says a big motivator for the company's move into Texas involved our state being a "right to work state."

According to Prime Healthcare's web site, the Pampa Regional Medical Center is a 115-bed acute care community hospital serving a population of about 65,000 residents in the Texas Panhandle.

For more information on Prime Healthcare Services, visit http://www.primehealthcare.com/

For details regarding recent investigations into the company, visit http://www.californiawatch.org/prime