This medical maverick, (or that’s what the paper’s calling him) owns three hospitals in The OC (California) and has cancelled all his HMO contacts—going after Medicare patients and charging HMOs and PPOs full fare for those admitted via the ER (and being very difficult about transferring them out).
My two questions are:
1) What happens when the HMOs won’t pay the full charge for ER and post ER care—if they feel they have to, that has very interesting anti-trust implications. Why shouldn’t all hospitals cancel their HMO contracts and just charge the Medicare rate? (at least in areas like Orange County where Medicare pays more than the HMOs do)
2) He owned a medical group that got bought by Phycor which then went bust, so that his stock was worthless. So where did the money come from to buy his helicopter and the hospitals?