50 Most Influential Physician Executives – 2016
Chairman and CEO, Prime Healthcare Services, Prime Healthcare Services
When Dr. Prem Reddy founded Prime Healthcare Services in 2001, he had a mission to take over struggling hospitals and return them to financial stability. Over the next 15 years, that strategy would prove to be fruitful for Prime, which says its hospitals are all debt-free and profitable. "We want to save as many hospitals as we can," Reddy, now 67, said in a 2014 interview at Prime's Ontario, Calif., headquarters. "We want to expand in California and beyond." But Prime's unflinching tactics—which include slashing bloated management teams, playing hardball with unions, canceling contracts with insurers and relentlessly focusing on billing and standardization—has made it one of the most controversial hospital chains in healthcare. Its entry into a new community is often fraught with opposition, and it has had to walk away from deals, including one for Daughters of Charity Health System in Southern California last year. Still, it has grown rapidly and now has 42 hospitals in 14 states.