Universal Health Services says it's under criminal investigation

Universal Health Services Inc.'s holdings include Chicago's Hartgrove Hospital and several Philadelphia-area hospitals. (TNS)

Individual hospitals in the behavioral health unit of Universal Health Services Inc. have long been dogged by federal investigations into their billing practices, but the King of Prussia company disclosed Tuesday in a regulatory filing that it was under criminal investigation at the corporate level.

The Securities and Exchange Commission filing updated legal matters noted in UHS's Feb. 26 annual report.

"UHS and its subsidiary facilities have cooperated with the investigating agencies and will continue to do so," the company said in a statement. "Due to the pendency of this matter, we are unable to make any comments about specific matters."

In the SEC filing, the company said it was not clear if the investigations would result in financial penalties.

UHS shares closed down $2.26, or 1.9 percent, to $117.71 on the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday.

In the Philadelphia region, UHS owns Brooke Glen Behavioral Hospital in Fort Washington; Fairmount Behavioral Health System and Friends Hospital, both in Philadelphia; the Horsham Clinic in Ambler; KeyStone Center in Chester; and Hampton Behavioral Health Center in Westhampton, according to its annual report.

Friends Hospital, on Roosevelt Boulevard, is the only local facility listed as under investigation in UHS's annual report. The 219-bed facility, which UHS acquired in 2010 when it bought Psychiatric Solutions Inc. for $2 billion, received U.S. Department of Justice subpoenas in 2010 and 2011, covering periods before UHS ownership.

In addition to disclosing that the investigations of Hartgrove Hospital, in Chicago, and others now includes UHS, the company's SEC filing said that in March two additional hospitals that treat people for addiction, depression, and other mental illnesses had received subpoenas,

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Inspector General issued the latest subpoenas for certain documents covering the period since 2008 to Central Florida Behavioral Hospital and University Behavioral Center, both in Orlando.

 


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