Friday, February 04, 2011 6:29 PM

Prime Healthcare accuses SEIU of Extortion; Cell Phone Graft, Pay Extortion by California Prison Guards; FireFighter Fraud in Nevada

I have many times accused public unions of winning contracts by extortion, bribery, graft, vote buying, and getting into bed with administrators. Thus, I am not surprised to learn that Top Rated Hospital System, Prime Healthcare Services, Stands Up To Union's Extortion Campaign ... 97474.html

Prime Healthcare Services (PHS), the largest for-profit hospital system in California and the only for-profit system among Thomson Reuters' Top 10 Health Systems in 2009, announced today that it has been the victim of an extortion campaign by the Service Employees International Union – United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU) over the past year.

According to PHS' officials, SEIU's extortion campaign began approximately 12 months ago when PHS rejected SEIU's demands for a "quick" deal for SEIU members at PHS' Centinela Hospital Medical Center so that SEIU could avoid a challenge from NUHW, an upstart union formed by disgruntled SEIU members. SEIU initially threatened to expose "dirt" on PHS, disseminate reports based on Medicare data, and claim that these reports showed that Medicare patients were acquiring serious blood infections like septicemia at PHS' hospitals even though SEIU knew that the Medicare data identified conditions present on admission; not hospital acquired conditions.

SEIU stepped up its extortion campaign in February 2010 by having CtW Investment Group (CtW), an investment fund created by SEIU and other unions, make false and misleading statements to Medical Properties Trust (MPT), a publicly traded real estate investment trust which serves as PHS' landlord and/or lender at several of its hospitals.

In a February 2, 2010 letter to MPT's Board of Directors, CtW falsely claimed that PHS' hospitals did not comply with California's earthquake safety laws, had infection control problems, had engaged in Medicare, fraud, and faced potential losses of millions of dollars. After MPT received CtW's letter, it conducted its own investigation into the allegations and found them to be baseless.

In April 2010, SEIU included both the SEC and State Senator Denise Ducheney, a long-time supporter of the SEIU, in its extortion campaign against PHS. In an April 2, 2010 letter to the SEC, CtW repeated its false claims against PHS and urged the SEC to interfere with MPT's planned stock offering.

PHS will continue to stand up against SEIU and has made a criminal referral to the United States Attorneys' Office regarding SEIU's activities. At the same time, PHS urges all interested parties to carefully scrutinize SEIU's propaganda and any articles which rely on such propaganda and urges elected officials to investigate SEIU's activities before they have disastrous consequences on the healthcare delivery system.

PHS has acquired financially distress hospitals that were in bankruptcy, near bankruptcy, and/or on the verge of closure and turned them around into well performing community hospitals that provide quality health care to all members of the community and serve a critical role in the healthcare safety net. Rather than attacking PHS, SEIU and those misinformed politicians should be applauding PHS' efforts to save community hospitals and employing more than 8,000 California workers.

California Hospital Alleges SEIU Extortion

Union Watch a project of the California Public Policy Center discusses the situation in its report California Hospital Alleges SEIU Extortion. ... extortion/

In a meticulously detailed press release issued on February 2nd, Prime Healthcare Services (PHS), the largest for-profit hospital system in California, announced they are victim of an extortion campaign by the Service Employees International Union – United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU) over the past year. What PHS is going through is a classic example of tactics the SEIU often employs with companies who won’t accede to their demands.

One of the contributing editors to Union Watch, Dave Bego, has written a book “Devil at My Doorstep