Tenet Healthcare Corp. said it has received a civil subpoena from HHS' inspector general's office seeking documents related to physician contracts from the company's headquarters and five of its hospitals in California and Nevada. Santa Barbara, Calif.-based Tenet said the subpoena covers agreements that the hospitals, one of which is now closed, made with a physician group known as Women's Cancer Center, Los Gatos, Calif., and 10 physicians who are or were members of the group. Tenet faces other investigations and at least one whistleblower lawsuit related to its physician agreements. The inspector general's office and the Internal Revenue Service raided Tenet's 193-bed Alvarado Hospital Medical Center, San Diego, on Dec. 19; according to Tenet's quarterly report to the Securities and Exchange Commission, the investigation appears to focus on physician relocation, recruitment and consulting arrangements. Federal agents also raided Tenet's 188-bed Redding (Calif.) Medical Center as part of a probe into whether two nonemployed physicians performed medically unnecessary procedures there and falsely billed Medicare. In October, a trial is scheduled in U.S. District Court, Miami, on a 1997 civil False Claims Act lawsuit alleging antikickback and self-referral law violations at Tenet's 391-bed North Ridge Medical Center, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. -- by Vince Galloro
HHS eyes Tenet hospitals' deals with cancer doctors
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