I worked for Laser Spine Institute in Scottsdale, AZ. I held a very important and pivotal position within the company and surgery center. When I first began my employment, I thought this was going to be the opportunity of a lifetime…I quickly learned that was not the case.
Let me start off by saying that Laser Spine Institute was started by surgeon James St. Louis. Yes, a surgeon. NOT a business man. Their “businessmen” that “run” the company are nothing but a complete joke – and worst of all, the epitome of a “Good ‘ol Boys Club”.
During the orientation, I began to look at the hierarchy of the upper management makeup which was presented to us on paper in our new hire manual. I began to notice “Hmmm…this person has the same last name of this person, this person has the same last name as that person” and so on. I’m sure you can see where I’m going with this. Dr. St. Louis has his kid running the company as the VP (well, there’s like 4 million “VP”s in that company), and his 25 year old buddy running the show in AZ. Also, the CEO has his kid heading up a major department and all of HIS (the kid’s) college buddies heading up marketing and sales. Also, the CEO’s former co-workers from Darden Industries (which is fancy for THEY USED TO MANAGE RED LOBSTERS AND OUTBACK STEAKHOUSES!) are heading up the show in Scottsdale and Tampa. Honestly, they need to go back to serving me cheddar biscuits and shrimp scampi. They have no business running an outpatient surgical center. And the proof of that fact will come later….
They try to lure you in as an employee with sincerity, sense of family, etc. but the fact of the matter is that it is all just a smoke screen. They do not care about their employees, they do not promote within, unless you one of the three F’s-- Friends, family, or f….I think you get it. Speaking of which, during my first week there, I was openly told by 2 VP’s (like I said, there’s a bunch of them) to flirt with doctors and anesthesiologists to get what I want, and in order to put numbers on the board. I used to work in a very prominent field making close to 6 figures – and then the economy took a dump and I began working at LSI for less than half of what I had been making, and this is the kind of junk I was hearing – it was absolutely insulting.
But there’s an even uglier side to LSI – the patient care—or lack thereof. Get em in, and get em out – that’s their motto. Collect the $30k for the surgery, and then get them out the door. Pre-Surgical medical clearance exams are inconsistent with some patients getting pushed through and others not – depending on who is working that day. Their “follow-up” is laughable. The girl that runs the Patient Services department is not a nurse – but only a Medical Assistant. The CEO’s son also helps out – even though I really never had an idea of what he did all day. The “nurses” are LPN’s and MA’s – at best…a bunch of ###s sitting in cubicles texting on their phones and admiring their tattoos. If a patient has problems postop, they may be brought back in for correction, but most of the time it’s referred out for further care like physical therapy or refer them back to their PCP.
Their “success” rate is highly inflated. They brag about an 85%+ success rate. BS!!! The younger patients usually have poor outcomes, and a lot of the older patients have problems too. The DTA’s that are performed often make patients feel worse than what they did before they got there.
The staff has issues too…like an employee being arrested for stealing a bunch of morphine from the lock box in the middle of the night, and allegations of the anesthesiologists being addicted to the injectables as well. Staff is not drug tested due to the fact they are not required to follow Medicare guidelines. Different prices for different patients depending on how bad we need their money in order to make quota that month, staff fighting and bickering in the OR, putting notes on the patient’s backs before surgery making fun of their appearance, etc. are just some of the antics at LSI. Then when they let you go, they force you to sign papers stating you will not sue, talk to any LSI employee, and will be available to testify in any pending court cases for years to come – and if you don’t, they revoke your severance money.
Dozens of employees have lost their jobs in the last year at LSI. Most recently, surgeons have been getting axed…and why would that be?
LSI is struggling. LSI has such poor business management --- People in positions not because of WHAT they know, but because of WHO they know. They spent $15 million on Scottsdale and who knows how much on their new expansion in Philadelphia – and with only 4-6 surgeries a day being performed in Scottsdale, half-a-million dollar surgeon salaries, and a 40, 000 sq foot rented space, they cannot make the numbers work. Rumor has it that investors are pulling out as well…taking their money and running. There are so many more pieces of this puzzle that explain why this company is such a scam – not only to the patients, but to their employees as well, it would take hours to write about it all.
Everything I speak of is the absolute truth. LSI has let down a lot of people, and the uppers should be ashamed of themselves. However, they have no conscience, no gratitude, and no sympathy. Don’t let the fluff and the “WE are LSI—WE are family” garbage fool you. They just as ruthless as any other business out there—because it’s all about their bottom line and how much cash cushions and lines the pockets of the ones who promise to support and take care of the “little people”. How they can lay their heads down their pillows each night and be okay with how they treat people is beyond me…it’s shameful.