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Suspicious Moves by Scott, HCA Resurface

The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

Gov. Rick Scott’s leadership of the Columbia/HCA hospital chain is well known, as is the company’s record $1.7 billion fine for filing false claims for Medicare and other federal health programs.

But as he faces re-election, stories about a simultaneous investigation in the 1990s are emerging involving Scott and attempts to buy the then-publicly owned Tampa General Hospital, The Tampa Tribune reports.

The TGH president at the time was so concerned about the actions he asked Florida’s Attorney General to investigate whether HCA and hospital leaders were making finances look worse off than they were, according to the Tribune.

At the same time, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Federal Bureau of Investigation and Internal Revenue Service were investigating complaints that HCA – under Scott’s leadership – were offering jobs and charitable gifts to leaders and public officials at two other hospitals in Florida, The Tribune reports.

Originally founded in December 2006 as an independent grassroots publication dedicated to coverage of health issues in Florida, Health News Florida was acquired by WUSF Public Media in September 2012.