PHOENIX-The FBI is looking into allegations that employees at Samaritan Health System's construction department provided free work at the homes of Samaritan executives, The Arizona Republic has reported. The newspaper said Samaritan officials have hired the national accounting firm Ernst & Young to conduct an independent audit of the construction department while the FBI investigates whether Samaritan's construction department misappropriated Medicare funds to cover construction costs. Former Samaritan employees said such items as baby cribs, desks and tables reportedly were made for employees, the Republic reported. Samaritan officials denied any wrongdoing, the newspaper said. The construction department was eliminated during recent corporate cutbacks at Samaritan, Arizona's largest healthcare system. At deadline, Samaritan executives were unavailable for comment on the report.
SAN DIEGO-The Southern California Material Manawarded a five-year, $55 million distribution contract to Richmond, Va.-based Owens & Minor. The alliance provides materials management services to its owners, San Diego-based Sharp HealthCare and Escondido, Calif.-based Palomar Pomerado Health System.
LAS VEGAS-Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center plans to begin construction of a $25 million project to expand its operating-room area. Construction on the 68,000-square-foot project will begin in late spring, executives of the 688-bed hospital said. Five new operating rooms will be added to the existing 19 rooms, which will be replaced and upgraded with new technology. The new operating suites will include 10 general rooms, two cystology rooms, four cardiovascular rooms, two orthopedic neurosurgery rooms, two neurology rooms, two transplant rooms and two orthopedic rooms. "Our new operating rooms are designed to meet the rapidly growing needs of our physicians and to provide the highest quality medical care in southern Nevada," said Allan Stipe, Sunrise president and chief executive officer. "By staying on the cutting edge of the latest in design, technology and patient care, we can continue to be a pioneer in healthcare."