Tenet Healthcare Corp., Santa Barbara, Calif., said it is cooperating with a new subpoena by the U.S. attorney's office in Los Angeles relating to Tenet's physician relocation agreements. Tenet said the subpoena seeks documents up to five years old "primarily regarding certain cardiac physician arrangements, coronary procedures and billing practices" at three Tenet hospitals in the Los Angeles area. The U.S. attorney's office now is investigating relocation agreements at eight Tenet hospitals in the area. The federal investigation of Tenet's Redding (Calif.) Medical Center also centers around cardiac procedures; in that case, authorities contend procedures were performed unnecessarily. Tenet paid $54 million in August to settle its criminal and most of its civil liability in the case, although the hospital still faces possible exclusion from federal healthcare programs. Tenet faces at least two other probes of its physician agreements. A federal investigation of relocation agreements at Tenet's Alvarado Hospital Medical Center, San Diego, has resulted in indictments of a Tenet subsidiary, the hospital and the hospital's CEO Barry Weinbaum and Associate Administrator Mina Nazaryan. Meanwhile, HHS' inspector general's office is investigating agreements between five Tenet hospitals in California and Nevada and a physician group. Tenet owns and operates 112 hospitals, including 11 hospitals it has agreed to sell. -- by Vince Galloro
Tenet receives new subpoena over doc agreements
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