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About 20 employees said UHS operates ethically and provides high-quality care.“I can honestly say in my hospital I never felt like people were being held long after they were due to be discharged,” said Bill Niles, who ran Roxbury Hospital in Pennsylvania for eight years.“They wanted you to perform with the highest standards,” said Shari Baker, who ran Palmetto Behavioral Lowcountry Hospital in South Carolina until earlier this year.(Through a spokesperson, Miller declined repeated requests for an interview.) With thousands of patients getting pushed out of public hospitals, and with insurance companies willing to approve hospital stays of a month or more, the 1980s were a boom time for private psychiatric hospitals. By the early 1990s, when UHS was still a relatively small player, several of the top hospital chains were facing state or federal investigations and a slew of lawsuits from patients.Meanwhile insurance companies tightened their policies, demanding shorter lengths of stay.A yearlong Buzz Feed News investigation — based on interviews with 175 current and former UHS staff, including 18 executives who ran UHS hospitals; more than 120 additional interviews with patients, government investigators, and other experts; and a cache of internal documents — raises grave questions about the extent to which those profits were achieved at the expense of patients.
UHS was founded in 1979 by Alan Miller, who is still at the helm today as CEO and board chair.Millwood Hospital is part of America’s largest psychiatric hospital chain, Universal Health Services, or UHS.Its more than 200 psychiatric facilities across the country admitted nearly 450,000 patients last year.Nor did she know, she later testified in a deposition, that the dozen or so forms he gave her were anything other than standard doctor’s-office paperwork.She signed them and waited for her counseling session. by the time a staff member walked her down a long hallway.