HHS' inspector general's office confirmed that it has given Tenet Healthcare Corp., Santa Barbara, Calif., more time to make its case against excluding 238-bed Redding (Calif.) Medical Center from federal healthcare programs. Tenet disclosed last month that the inspector general had begun the administrative proceedings necessary to exclude the hospital from Medicare, Medicaid and other federal healthcare programs, a move based on allegations that at least two physicians performed medically unnecessary services at the hospital. Originally, Tenet had until this Wednesday to present evidence against exclusion. Ben St. John, a spokesman for the inspector general's office, confirmed a report of the extension in the Sacramento Bee but would not say how long the extension would last. The Redding case is the first time since 1980 that the inspector general's office has sought a discretionary exclusion - - one not mandated by a criminal conviction - - against an acute-care hospital. -- by Vince Galloro
HHS gives Tenet more time to defend Calif. hospital
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