BNB3: Must Read Stories

HCA has been forced to reconcile with their record on patient care, safety, and worker rights in the past week, as their latest expansion effort in a small town in Georgia became an unexpected lightning rod for major controversy.

Last August, Jamelle Brown, a technician at Research Medical Center in Kansas City, Missouri, contracted Covid-19 while on the job sanitizing and sterilizing rooms in the facility's emergency department. Luckily, his case wasn't severe, and after having quarantined, he was back at work.

Upon his return, Brown was named Employee of the Month in his unit and given a gift voucher for use in the hospital cafeteria. The amount: $6.

’That stung me to the bone,’ said Brown, who makes $13.77 an hour and has worked for almost four years at the hospital, owned by the corporate giant HCA Healthcare. 'It made me sit back and say, 'This place doesn't care for me.’

An investment group is calling for the removal of an HCA Healthcare director and its audit committee chair at an April 28 meeting. CtW Investment Group sent a letter to HCA shareholders April 1 urging them to oppose the reelection of director and audit and compliance committee chair Charles Holliday Jr.

‘As a member of the Audit and Compliance Committee since 2016, and its Chairman for the past year, Mr. Holliday bears particular responsibility for the failure to properly oversee the company's admissions practices and for the development of significant regulatory and litigation risk,’ CtW wrote in the letter to other HCA investors.

The investment group claims HCA has ‘exhibited patterns of Medicare emergency admissions’ that are similar to those of companies that have been the subject of investigations by the U.S. Justice Department and resulted in settlements.

‘The Audit and Compliance Committee failed to engage with us, and indeed did not even respond to our letter, suggesting a serious lack of accountability and effectiveness,’ CtW Investment Group said.

A major investment group has called for the ouster of HCA Healthcare board member Charles Holliday Jr. over failing to properly oversee admission practices.

The letter, dated April 1, calls out Holliday and seeks his removal as the audit and compliance committee chairman on the hospital chain’s board. CtW Investment Group, an activist investor group that has the backing of union-sponsored pension funds, is worried excess admissions could open the system up to federal investigation and penalties.

CtW calculates that since 2009, these excessive admissions could have yielded HCA about $1.6 billion in Medicare payments, amounting to nearly 8% of the chain’s net income from 2009 to 2018.

Gibbins Advisors is the independent firm hired to monitor HCA's agreement obligations when it purchased Mission Health System in 2019...

Gibbins Advisors said about 200 people registered and the meeting lasted about two hours. The group answered dozens of questions submitted by community members.

Principal Ron Winters said the group is focused on following up on concerns from the community in order to evaluate whether HCA is keeping the commitments agreed to in the sale.

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Tens of thousands of frontline hospital workers with stories remarkably similar to Jamelle's are still being paid poverty wages by HCA, the nation's largest for-profit hospital corporation. Click here to take action.