The Service Employees International Union has asked the nation's largest private purchaser of healthcare, the California Public Employees Retirement System, to look at the effects of Tenet Healthcare Corp.'s business strategies on the health, safety and pocketbooks of CalPERS' 1.1 million beneficiaries. The SEIU, which has about 1.5 million members nationwide, asked the pension fund to put a discussion of Tenet's "predatory medical and financial behavior" on the agenda of its December meeting. In particular, the SEIU criticized Tenet's aggressive pricing practices and alleged the chain has failed to hold medical staff accountable for quality of care. Tenet, Santa Barbara, Calif., has been in the hot seat legally this past month. Two doctors at its 188-bed Redding (Calif.) Medical Center are under investigation for allegedly performing unnecessary heart surgeries, while Medicare is probing the company's high rate of outlier cases. The SEIU has had a long, contentious relationship with Tenet over union and insurance issues. -- by Laura B. Benko
Union asks CalPERS to put Tenet on agenda
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