A BITTER PRESCRIPTION

FACED WITH SEVERAL FEDERAL PROBES INTO ITS PRACTICES, COLUMBIA/HCA HEALTHCARE OUSTS ITS DYNAMIC CEO

With lights flashing and sirens screaming, ambulances all across the U.S. rushed patients to hospitals run by Columbia/HCA Healthcare last week. But those were not the only emergencies taking place at the country's largest hospital company. Even as Columbia was growing and doing record business, a fight for survival had broken out inside the executive suite after swarms of federal agents descended on various Columbia offices two weeks ago. The climax came at 8:30 a.m. last Friday, following an extraordinary board meeting held late into the previous night, when directors wrapped up the terms of the resignations of chairman and CEO...

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