Former Ala. CFO charged
* A former executive was charged last week by the FBI with embezzling nearly $2 million from 55-bed North Baldwin Infirmary, Bay Minette, Ala., less than two months after he pleaded guilty to unrelated healthcare fraud in South Carolina. An FBI complaint charged that Robert Ben O'Daniel, 59, transferred $1.92 million from accounts he controlled while CFO of North Baldwin from 2000 to 2003 to a Jackson, Miss., company he owned. In August 2002 O'Daniel told North Baldwin CEO John Eads that he was indicted for healthcare fraud in South Carolina but was innocent. Eads allowed O'Daniel to remain as CFO. At North Baldwin, authorities said, O'Daniel embezzled money to build a home, gamble, pay off debts and lawsuits, purchase land, a sailboat and Porsche. In September, he pleaded guilty to fraud conspiracy in the South Carolina case.
D.C. hospital keeps license
* Greater Southeast Community Hospital, Washington, will retain its operating license but at a lessened capacity after the hospital corrected deficiencies in emergency care, fire safety, quality assurance, physician supervision and staffing. The District of Columbia Department of Health limited the 303-bed hospital's inpatient capacity to 150 and said it would continue to monitor quality of care at the hospital. Greater Southeast had been operating under probation since August, when the hospital and city reached a deal keeping the hospital open as long as it made progress in meeting health department criteria. Inspectors earlier had determined that at least six preventable deaths had occurred at the facility.
Triad ends W.Va. hospital bid
* Triad Hospitals, Plano, Texas, last week said it would drop its proposed acquisition of Fairmont (W.Va.) General Hospital because a rival hospital won certificate-of-need approval to build a replacement facility nearby. The West Virginia Health Care Authority last month approved a $265.1 million replacement hospital for United Hospital Center, Clarksburg.