Durant hospital accused of fraud

By: Allison Harris Email
By: Allison Harris Email

DURANT, OKLAHOMA -- If you missed it Sunday night, Medical Center of Southeastern Oklahoma was highlighted in a 60 Minutes investigation.

The group that manages MCSO and other hospitals across the nation has come under fire for allegedly requiring its doctors to admit more and more patients, regardless of their medical needs, to increase revenues.

Health Management Associates, or HMA, is now being investigated by the Justice Department for this alleged fraud.

Monday, Medical Center of Southeastern Oklahoma responded to accusations of fraud, saying the 60 Minutes report is "inaccurate."

A statement from MCSO's home office says, "60 Minutes failed to identify a single patient who had been inappropriately admitted."

But we found a handful of disgruntled former MCSO patients who say they aren't surprised by the accusations.

We talked to dozens of people here in Durant who say they've been treated at Medical Center of Southeastern Oklahoma. Many of them declined going on camera, but did tell us what they call horror stories.

A couple we talked to say they've had bad experiences at MCSO.

They say most people they know in Durant steer clear of MCSO because of their treatment.

"They pretty much just treat people like cattle. They shove them through just for the money. You know, it's all about the money and not about the patient," she said.

"It's kinda one of those things that everybody knows but, you know, nobody talks about," he said.

A woman we talked to says she was double billed for a mammogram, then sent to a collection agency when she refused to pay twice.

Another person says he took his relative to MCSO three times on the day that he suffered a fatal heart attack.

But the statement from MCSO says, "60 Minutes found no issues with the quality of care at Health Management hospitals, stating on the broadcast that 'hardly anyone we talked to complained about the quality of care at HMA hospitals.'"

Their statement did not, however, deny a MCSO document that 60 Minutes says was given to them by a doctor there.

For HMA locations nationwide, visit this site: www.hma.com/locations/oklahoma

For the full 60 Minutes report, visit this site:
www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=50136261n


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