The Collapse Of A Hospital Empire — And Towns Left In The Wreckage

(By Barbara Feder Ostrov and Lauren Weber for Kaiser Health News)

SWEET SPRINGS, Mo. — The money was so good in the beginning, and it seemed it might gush forever, right through tiny country hospitals in Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee and into the coffers of companies controlled by Jorge A. Perez, his family and business partners.

It was his “secret sauce,” the rotund Miami entrepreneur would smilingly tell people in their no-stoplight towns. The money-making ventures he proposed sounded complicated, sure, but he said they would bring in enough cash to save their hospital and dozens, even hundreds, of good jobs in rural towns where gainful employment is hard to come by.

And, in town after town, the people believed him. He offered what they could not resist: hope, and the promise of survival.  Continue reading article here…

Kaiser Health News is a nonprofit national health policy news service that is part of the nonpartisan Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

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