A federal grand jury indicted the CEO of a Tenet Healthcare Corp. hospital in California on charges related to payments for physician recruitment. Tenet said Barry Weinbaum, CEO of its Alvarado Hospital Medical Center, San Diego, was indicted and that it believes a hospital subsidiary also may be charged. Tenet said it expects Weinbaum, 49, and the hospital to be fully vindicated. The charges "apparently relate to payments under physician relocation agreements that were made more than four years ago in connection with a group practice that included Paul Ver Hoeve, a San Diego physician who was convicted of felony Medicare fraud in an unrelated case in 2001," according to a company statement. Tenet disclosed last December that federal agents had raided the hospital.
Separately, the Associated Press reported that the former head of cardiology at Tenet's Redding (Calif.) Medical Center, Chae Hyun Moon, was accused by the Medical Board of California of insurance fraud, gross negligence, dishonest or corrupt acts and incompetence. Federal investigators last fall conducted a search of the Redding hospital, where Moon and another physician were suspected of performing unnecessary heart surgeries. The status of the government investigation was unknown at deadline. -- by Mary Chris Jaklevic