Born in Bloomington, Illinois and raised in Kansas City, Missouri, Richard Scott is considered one of America’s foremost entrepreneurs. The son of a truck driver and JC Penney clerk, Rick is known as an innovator in business, health care, and politics,and has developed a reputation in the health care industry for providing affordable, high quality services through a patient-centric approach to cost and care. Rick is the founder of two health care providers, Columbia Hospital Corporation and Solantic Corporation, which builds and operates urgent care facilities throughout Florida.
Rick has been married to his high school sweetheart, Ann, for 38 years. They have two wonderful daughters, Jordan and Allison. Rick is a Christian and has attended church his whole life. He is currently a trustee and member of Naples Community Church, which he helped start in 2006.
In the spring of 1987, while still practicing law, Rick put together a six billion dollar finance package and made an offer to purchase HCA, Inc. When the offer was rejected, Rick started Columbia with his entire life savings of $125,000.
Beginning with two El Paso, Texas hospitals and continuing for the next nine years, Columbia purchased hospitals and instituted practices that made them more efficient, allowing patients to pay less while receiving better outcomes. In 1994, Rick made a successful bid for HCA, Inc., which at that time owned approximately 100 hospitals, and the company’s name changed to Columbia/HCA. By the end of 1995, Rick had added 80 more hospitals to the network, and implemented his signature cost-saving practices throughout the organization.
In 1997, Columbia was recognized by Business Week as one of the 50 Best Performing Companies of the S&P 500. TIME magazine praised Columbia resoundingly: “Scott’s credo is a classic: quality care doesn’t have to come at a premium price. In an industry notorious for waste and inefficiency, Scott aggressively consolidates operations and imposes cost controls.”
When Rick left Columbia in 1997 at the age of 44, it was one of the most admired companies in America. It had grown to become the world’s largest health care company with more than 340 hospitals, 135 surgery centers, and 550 home health
locations in 37 states and two foreign countries.
In 2001, Rick co-founded Solantic Corporation, which operates unique and innovative urgent care centers across Florida. Solantic was the first urgent care center operator to have menu boards, listing all prices up front.
In March 2009, Rick launched Conservatives for Patients’ Rights (CPR), an advocacy group dedicated to the free market principles of choice, competition, accountability and personal responsibility in health care. Modeling the organization after his own efforts in the industry, the goal of CPR was to prevent further government encroachment on the rights of patients. As President Obama’s government-run public option plan began to take shape, Rick directed CPR to focus specifically on stopping the public option plan, even as political groups launched attacks against Rick and the debate began to intensify.
Watch the RGA’s American Comeback feature on Governor Scott: