Hospital Corporation of America was founded in 1968 in Nashville by Dr. Thomas Frist Jr., his father, Dr. Thomas Frist Sr., and Jack Massey. Initially, it was just one hospital and a nursing home. But by the end of the next year, the company operated more than two dozen hospitals and was growing rapidly. Fast-forward to the late 1980s and early '90s. The company was taken private, spun off more than 100 hospitals and then went public again. In 1994, it completed its fateful merger with Columbia Healthcare Corp, Fort Worth, Texas. The merged company, called Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp., operated 192 hospitals. Tension soon developed between Frist Jr. and Richard Scott, the aggressive young corporate lawyer who had founded Columbia and was the new company's chairman and CEO. In 1997, the federal government's probe of Columbia/HCA's billing practices became public through a series of raids by the FBI and the Internal Revenue Service. Following the raids, the Columbia/HCA board of directors forced Scott to resign. At this point the company had grown to nearly 350 hospitals. The government investigation led to Medicare fraud indictments against the company and ultimately a $1.74 billion settlement.
- Round 1: Lost To Release of the Institute of Medicine's "To Err is Human" report