Hospital Corporation of America

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Hospital Corporation of America
Traded as NYSEHCA
S&P 500 Component
Industry Health care
Founded 1968; 50 years ago (1968)
Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.
Headquarters Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.
Number of locations
178 Hospitals, 119 Surgery Centers,[1] 121 Access Centers
Area served
United States and United Kingdom
Key people
R. Milton Johnson (CEO)
Michael Neeb (CEO, HCA UK)
Revenue IncreaseUS$41.490 billion (2016)
IncreaseUS$2.890 billion (2016)
Number of employees

Hospital Corporation of America (HCA) is an American for-profit operator of health care facilities. It is based in Nashville, Tennessee and manages 177 hospitals and 119 free-standing surgery centers in the United States and United Kingdom.[2]


Early years[edit]

HCA founders (left to right) Dr. Thomas Frist Sr., Jack Massey, Dr. Thomas Frist Jr.

HCA was founded in 1968, in Nashville, Tennessee by Dr. Thomas F. Frist Sr., Dr. Thomas F. Frist Jr., Jack C. Massey, and Henry Hooker[3].

The first hospital that HCA owned was Park View Hospital, near downtown Nashville.[4] The small group of founders worked out of a small house not far from Park View for the first few years of operation.[5]

In 1969, HCA conducted its initial public offering (IPO) on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).[4] As HCA grew, the small house that served as office space was no longer large enough, and in 1972, they built new offices behind Nashville's Centennial Park.[6]

Parkview Hospital circa 1968

Growth and merger[edit]

During the 1970s and 1980s the corporation went through a tremendous growth period acquiring hundreds of hospitals across the US, 255 owned by HCA, and another 208 managed by HCA.

In 1988, the hospital operator was acquired for $5.1 billion in a management buyout led by chairman Thomas F. Frist, Jr.[7] and completed a successful initial public offering in 1992. In 1993 HCA merged with Louisville-based Columbia Hospital Corporation to form Columbia/HCA. In April 1998, Birmingham, Alabama-based HealthSouth Corporation announced it was acquiring the majority of HCA's surgical division.

HCA's first office in Nashville, Tennessee

Recent history[edit]

In 2006, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Bain Capital, together with Merrill Lynch and the Frist family (which had founded the company) completed a $33.6 billion acquisition, making the company privately held again, 17 years after it had first been taken private in a management buyout. At the time of its announcement, the HCA buyout was the first of several to set new records for the largest, eclipsing the 1989 buyout of RJR Nabisco. It would later be surpassed by the buyouts of Equity Office Properties and TXU.[8]

In May 2010, HCA announced that the corporation would once again go public with an expected $4.6-billion IPO. In March 2011, HCA sold 126.2 million shares for $30 each, raising about $3.79 billion, at that time, the largest private-equity backed IPO in U.S. history.[9]

Milton Johnson is the current CEO of HCA.


As of 2012, HCA operated 162 hospitals and 113 freestanding surgery centers located in 20 U.S. states and in the United Kingdom.[2] The main hospital sites within the United Kingdom include:

In July 2007, HCA sold its hospitals in Switzerland.[10]

The Princess Grace Hospital specializes in breast cancer and surgery, aided by Professor Kefah Mokbel and Dr. Nick Perry who, in 2005, founded The London Breast Institute.

Fraud investigations[edit]

In 1997, the company was part of a fraud investigation initiated by a number of governmental departments in the United States. Later that year, Rick Scott resigned as chairman. He later became the 45th and current Governor of Florida. The case was settled in 2002 at a reported cost of $2 billion to HCA, which made it the largest fraud settlement in US history.

In March 1997, investigators from the FBI, the Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Health and Human Services served search warrants at Columbia/HCA facilities in El Paso and on dozens of doctors with suspected ties to the company.[11] Following the raids, the Columbia/HCA board of directors forced Rick Scott to resign as chairman and CEO.[12] He was paid a settlement of $9.88 million and left with 10 million shares of stock worth over $350 million, mostly from his initial investment.[13][14] In 1999, Columbia/HCA changed its name back to HCA, Inc. HCA also admitted fraudulently billing Medicare and other health programs by inflating the seriousness of diagnoses and to giving doctors partnerships in company hospitals as a kickback for the doctors referring patients to HCA. They filed false cost reports, fraudulently billing Medicare for home health care workers, and paid kickbacks in the sale of home health agencies and to doctors to refer patients. In addition, they gave doctors "loans" that were never intended to be repaid as well as free rent, free office furniture, and free drugs from hospital pharmacies.[15][16]

After Scott stepped down, Frist Jr. returned as chairman and CEO. He called on longtime friend and colleague Jack O. Bovender, Jr., to help him turn the company around. Frist and Bovender, who became CEO in 2001, pulled off what Fortune magazine called a remarkable corporate rescue.[17] In settlements reached in 2000 and 2002, Columbia/HCA pleaded guilty to 14 felonies and admitted systematically overcharging the government by claiming marketing costs as reimbursable, striking illegal deals with home care agencies, and filing false data about use of hospital space.

Corporate office in 1972

In late 2002, HCA agreed to pay the U.S. government $631 million, plus interest, and pay $17.5 million to state Medicaid agencies, in addition to $250 million paid up to that point to resolve outstanding Medicare expense claims.[18] In all, civil lawsuits cost HCA more than $2 billion to settle, by far the largest fraud settlement in US history.[19] The name subsequently reverted to "Hospital Corporation of America." HCA abandoned the use of its name in its home market and instead promotes its Nashville hospitals under the TriStar brand.

In July 2005, U.S. Senator Bill Frist sold all of his HCA shares two weeks before disappointing earnings sent the stock on a 9-point plunge. Frist claimed that he sold his shares to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest if he ran for president. Other executives sold their stock at the same time. Shareholders sued HCA and alleged that the company made false claims about its profits to drive up the price, which then fell when the company reported disappointing financial results. Eleven of HCA's senior officers were sued for accounting fraud and insider trading.[20] HCA settled the lawsuit in August 2007, agreeing to pay $20 million to the shareholders.[21]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Our History". HCA Healthcare. Retrieved January 29, 2018. 
  2. ^ a b HCA Fact Sheet 2014 Archived September 5, 2015, at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ a b Dr. Thomas Frist Sr., HCA Founder, Dies at 87, New York Times, January 8, 1998
  5. ^ "HCA Healthcare". Retrieved October 2, 2017. 
  6. ^ "HCA Healthcare". Retrieved October 2, 2017. 
  7. ^ Freudenheim, Milt. Buyout Set For Chain Of Hospitals. The New York Times, November 22, 1988.
  8. ^ SORKIN, ANDREW ROSS. "HCA Buyout Highlights Era of Going Private." New York Times, July 25, 2006.
  9. ^ "HCA IPO prices at $30, sells more shares: sources". Reuters. Retrieved 2015-02-02. 
  10. ^ HCA sells Switzerland hospitals Nashville Business Journal, June 20, 2007.
  11. ^ "U.S. Expands Search of Columbia/HCA in Texas". The New York Times. 
  12. ^ 2 Leaders Are Out at Health Giant as Inquiry Goes on. New York Times, July 1997
  13. ^ Korten, Tristram (2009-09-30). "Rick Scott profits off the uninsured". Retrieved 2013-08-15. 
  14. ^ "Hospital Firm Ousts Its Founder; Columbia/Hca Tries To Stop Slide. - Free Online Library". 1997-07-26. Retrieved 2013-08-15. 
  15. ^ "Disaster Of The Day: HCA". December 15, 2000. 
  16. ^ "The risk of choosing Scott". Retrieved 2013-08-15. 
  17. ^ "Bringing HCA Back to Life After years of scandal, the hospital chain is healthy again--and might just be a buy". Fortune Magazine. 
  18. ^ Appleby, Julie (December 18, 2002). "HCA to settle more allegations for $631M". USA Today. 
  19. ^ "The Accomplishments of the U.S. Department of Justice : 2001-2009" (PDF). Retrieved 2 October 2017. 
  20. ^ "In re HCA Inc., Securities Litigation". Retrieved Jul 26, 2013. 
  21. ^ [1][dead link]

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]