SAN ANTONIO-Two physician groups and their management company, all affiliated with 22-hospital Christus Health, Irving, Texas, agreed earlier this month to pay a combined $1.4 million to resolve civil whistleblower allegations that they improperly billed Medicare for physician evaluations. The lawsuit against the management firm, Primary CareNet of Texas, and the physician groups, Health Texas Medical Group and Solomon Anthony Clinic, was filed by former Primary CareNet Chief Financial Officer Timothy Ohman in 2001. A Christus spokeswoman said the system was merely an investor in the organizations, which have separate governing boards, and was not party to the litigation or accused of any wrongdoing. According to the system's 1999 tax return, Christus owned 94.5% of Health Texas Medical Group and 100% of Primary CareNet and Solomon Anthony Clinic. Primary CareNet denied wrongdoing and said it cooperated with the investigation.
RALEIGH, N.C.-The board of WakeMed earlier this month approved a $30 million expansion of the 5-year-old WakeMed Heart Center that will add 53,000 square feet of space, another cardiac catheterization lab and 21 pre- and post-procedure beds, bringing the total to 43 beds in the unit, WakeMed said. North Carolina regulators have granted certificate-of-need approval for the lab, but WakeMed will have to apply for approval for other aspects of the plan. WakeMed plans to file for approval in June, with hopes of receiving a decision by year-end, the system said.
NASHVILLE-Tennessee's Medicaid program, known as TennCare, said earlier this month it is terminating its contract with Xantus Healthplan of Tennessee effective Aug. 1, a move that is expected to result in the demise of the 124,000-member Medicaid HMO. TennCare said the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance will seek to liquidate the plan. The department seized control of Xantus four years ago and has been operating it in rehabilitation since then-a situation similar to operating under bankruptcy protection. Xantus' members will be shifted to a safety-net TennCare plan over the next three months.