Health South: the Scrushy Way

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  • Topic: Richard M. Scrushy, HealthSouth
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Assignment # 8

Health South: The Scrushy way

Northcentral University

Table of Contents

1. Assignment cover sheet p. 1

2. Title page: HealthSouth and the Scrushy Way p. 2

3. Table of Contents p. 3

4. Introduction p. 4

5. Scrushy’s Background p. 4

6. Scrushy as in a public eye p. 5

7. Scrushy as a CEO p. 5

8. HealthSouth during the good times p.5

9. Collapse of HealthSouth p. 6

10. Impact on Stakeholders p. 7

11. Outcome and Fairness of Punishment p. 7

12. Conclusion p. 7

13. References p. 8


The fiasco occurred at HealthSouth in 2003, when Richard Scrushy’s empire fell and

collapsed in front of the stakeholders, HealthSouth employees, and general public. The lies of the

multi-year fraud have been revealed and exposed, accusing Mr. Schushy by the Securities

Exchange Commission (SEC) in falsely exaggerating HealthSouth earnings. In this paper, I will

analyze organizational culture of that Richard Scrushy has created, and the consequences of the

financial fraud that has occurred at HealthSouth.

Scrushy’s background

Scrushy’s story of climbing the ladder is quite impressive. Richard Scrushy was a

High school dropout. He got married at a young age to his first wife with whom he had two

children. Scrushy was a diligent provider in the family. While residing in the trailer park and

working hard, Scurshy got very frustrated and dissatisfied with his life. Therefore, he chose to

obtain a certification through college as a respiratory technician. Eventually, Scrushy became an

instructor of Respiratory Therapy at the University of Birmingham. After serving years as an

instructor, he was able to become a director of the respiratory unit at a Birmingham hospital.

Then, in 1979, Scrushy transitioned into Life-mark Corporation, a company that managed

hospitals. Once again, Scrushy was able to rise up the ladder in the company. He held several

positions at Life-mark, and eventually became a corporate director. There he was, at the age of

twenty-eight, a successful young man, who has made himself. (Matulich, 2007).

Jennings(2012) described the start of HealthSouth in steps. Frist, Life-mark was acquired

in 1983. Scrushy had many brilliant ideas; one of them consisted of incorporating a

rehabilitation services for patients at a lower cost. This new line of service would make an

organization a “one stop shop”, providing patients with surgery, rehabilitation, and much quicker

recovery. Scrushy was able to put his idea into practice, forming HealthSouth (Jennings, 2007).

Scrushy in the public eye

It is interesting to study Mr. Scrushy and his business practice. He was a person, who was

comfortable at living a double life. On one side, he was a charismatic, kind, generous, and very

likable individual. Scrushy was loved by most celebrities, and he was, indeed, a celebrity. He

had that lifestyle: a jet, several homes, multiple cars, and a lot of money. Scrushy was an

influential figure; his name stood behind many growing businesses, endorsements, and

promotional materials. He lived a life, where money could buy everything. As a business man he

was a dynamic risk taker, excellent goal setter and achiever.

Scrushy as a CEO

Unfortunately, Scrushy had another personality as a CEO that only his employees knew

about. Helyar (2003) wrote about Scrushy’s ways of getting things accomplished. Helyar

described Scrushy as a terror CEO, who created a very intimidating, controlling, based on fear

and pressure corporate culture. His meetings were torture and pure harassment;...
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