Prime Healthcare Management Inc., the Ontario, Calif.-based hospital management company that owns Alvarado Hospital Medical Center in San Diego and Paradise Valley Hospital in National City, confirmed that President and CEO Lex Reddy stepped down after 11 years at the helm.

The CEO post will be filled on an interim basis by Dr. Prem Reddy, founder and chairman of Prime Healthcare and Lex Reddy’s brother-in-law. Meanwhile, company veteran Luis Leon will take over as chief operating officer.

Leon has served as the regional CEO of Prime Healthcare’s San Diego Region since 2011, overseeing both Alvarado Hospital and Paradise Valley Hospital. With his new responsibilities, he will no longer serve in that role; it’s unclear who will replace him.

“I believe my clinical experience and the various roles I have held give me a deep understanding of our company and the path toward a successful future,” Leon said.

A Prime Healthcare spokesman said Peter Adamo will continue as administrator of the 306-bed Alvarado Hospital, and Neerav Jadeja will continue as administrator for the 281-bed Paradise Valley Hospital.

Prime Healthcare’s billing practices have been the focus of numerous recent media reports, as well as the topic of a California Senate health committee meeting and a lawsuit alleging the company sought to boost revenues by overbilling for medical care and not transferring stabilized patients to hospitals in their insurance network.

“Contrary to certain media reports, Prime Healthcare is not aware of any federal or state investigations,” the company said in a statement. “Prime Healthcare is confident that even if there are, the facts will demonstrate that the company has complied with all statutes and regulations.”

Prime Healthcare said Lex Reddy left for personal reasons. He served as president and CEO of Prime Healthcare since its inception in 2001. The company credited him with overseeing a rapid expansion and earning Prime Healthcare national recognition from New York-based Thomson Reuters Corp. as one of the top 15 health systems in the nation in 2012.

Prime Healthcare specializes in turning around financially distressed hospitals across California. The company’s portfolio includes 15 acute care facilities.

— Kelly Quigley