A week after the closure of Anaheim General Hospital was announced, owner Pacific Health Corp. has revealed it's pulling the plug on Newport Specialty Hospital in Tustin as well. But don't blame these closures, or the shuttering of Pacific Health's Bellflower Medical Center and LA Metropolitan Medical Center and the Hawthorne campus, on Obamacare, Rush. The culprit here is corporate greed.
Corporate greed that has actually resulted in convictions for a change!
Yes, Pacific Health is the same corporation the government smacked for $16.5 million in fines and restitution for recruiting homeless people from LA's skid row to undergo unnecessary tests and procedures billed to Medicare and Medi-Cal.
The scheme involved Pacific's Health's Los Angeles Doctors Hospital as well as Tustin Hospital and Medical Center, whose former CFO Vincent Rubio pleaded guilty to paying illegal recruiters, pocketing kickbacks from some recruiters and failing to declare that income on personal tax forms. Dr. Kenneth Thaler of Westminster got a year in prison after copping to admitting the phony patients, and a recruiter in LA Rubio admitted to paying was also convicted.
Tustin Hospital and Medical Center was renamed Newport Specialty Hospital after the scandal broke. Its employees were told Tuesday about the closure, according to Pacific Health.
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But some employees there are holding out hope that a new owner will eventually reopen the facility, something perhaps bolstered by Pacific Health's statement last week regarding the future of Anaheim General:
The new management team at Pacific Health Corporation has taken the difficult decision to suspend services at Anaheim General Hospital as we work to resolve the legacy issues facing our company in this especially challenging economic climate for all healthcare providers. It is our intention to resume services at Anaheim General at some time in the future.
New life can't come soon enough for local workers and patients. Tustin's emergency room was to close today and all services are to stop once beds are found for all remaining patients, Pacific Health says.