Tenet Healthcare Corp., Santa Barbara, Calif., has agreed to pay $54 million -- the largest single-hospital fraud settlement with the federal government -- to resolve allegations that two physicians performed unnecessary procedures at Tenet's 188-bed Redding (Calif.) Medical Center and then falsely billed Medicare for them, the U.S. attorney in Sacramento, Calif., said. The settlement does not limit the government's investigation of individuals, prosecutors said. The Redding allegations center on two nonemployed physicians who performed cardiac procedures at the hospital. Tenet confirmed the existence of a settlement but did not offer any details pending a news conference by prosecutors. The $54 million settlement is the largest recovery for fraud based on medically unnecessary procedures, prosecutors said. The largest single-hospital fraud settlement had been $24.5 million, paid last year by Cigna Corp. for Lovelace Health System, Albuquerque. -- by Vince Galloro and Mark Taylor
Tenet settles its part in Redding, Calif., probe
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