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Doctors claim HCA Florida hospital's patient care has suffered from cost cutting, NBC News reports

NBC News provided photos showing roaches in operating room, equipment taped together
HCA Florida Bayonet Point Hospital with NBC Nightly News bug
Posted at 11:54 AM, Feb 16, 2023

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Four physicians at an HCA Healthcare hospital in Florida allege that patient care has suffered as a result of cost-cutting measures by the nation's largest hospital group, an NBC News investigation has uncovered.

The doctors – three of whom requested anonymity in fear of retaliation by HCA – shared their experiences at HCA Florida Bayonet Point Hospital with NBC News reporter Cynthia McFadden.

All four doctors said the quality of care at the Tampa-area facility has declined significantly since 2021, when HCA cut staff and began hiring contract workers.

Dr. George Giannakopoulos, a neurosurgeon and the hospital's chief of staff at the time, said there were 18 "near misses" in the operating room. One such instance occurred, he said, when the wrong side of a patient was prepared for surgery – anesthetizing a left hip that should have been the right.

Recent photographs provided to NBC News by doctors show ceiling leaks in a recovery room, oxygen equipment held together with tape, bloody and clogged sinks, wires dangling from a hole in a wall and cockroaches in the operating room.

The chief executive officer at the hospital declined an interview request by NBC News, but a spokeswoman for the hospital group said in a statement that "we are continually looking for ways to improve patient safety and quality of care."

"We apply those learnings, including reports by both federal and state regulators, to ensure best practices for quality care are in place," the statement continued. "HCA Florida Bayonet Point Hospital is appropriately staffed to ensure the safe care of our patients."