Tenet Healthcare Corp. said its corporate office and Tenet subsidiaries that own seven Southern California hospitals received subpoenas seeking documents related to physician relocation agreements since 1995. The administrative subpoenas were issued by the U.S. attorney in Los Angeles. Separately, Santa Barbara, Calif.-based Tenet said it expects a federal grand jury investigating physician relocation agreements at its 311-bed Alvarado Hospital Medical Center, San Diego, to indict the hospital and possibly Tenet later this week. Alvarado CEO Barry Weinbaum already has been indicted on charges that he authorized $10 million in kickback payments to physicians who relocated to the area. Weinbaum denies the charges, Tenet said. In general, Tenet said it believes its corporate policy on physician relocation agreements "is entirely appropriate under the law." The policy was adopted in 1996, Tenet said. The company already is the subject of a host of other federal investigations regarding its Medicare outlier payments from 1999 to 2002. On Jan. 1, 2003, Tenet adopted a new outlier policy that severely restricted its payments. Tenet owns and operates 114 hospitals. -- by Vince Galloro
Editor's note: This item was published on modernhealthcare.com late yesterday after the Daily Dose was distributed. Check modernhealthcare.com daily for more breaking news.