Tenet Healthcare Corp., Santa Barbara, Calif., said its two-campus Memorial Medical Center, New Orleans, has received a subpoena from the U.S. attorney's office in New Orleans related to a previously disclosed investigation. People's Health Network, a health plan management services company in which Tenet owns a 50% stake, was subpoenaed twice in October, and Tenet said that PHN, along with Memorial Medical, also received a new subpoena. Both news subpoenas demand agendas, minutes, bylaws, membership data and policies from June 1, 2002, to the present related to medical staff committees and other medical staff groups. PHN manages Tenet Choices, a Medicare HMO that Tenet operates in the New Orleans area.
Tenet had good news on another front. Blue Cross of California said it has rescinded a notice of termination for its contract with Tenet's Doctors Medical Center of Modesto (Calif.). The insurer, a unit of investor-owned WellPoint Health Networks, said "recent constructive and collaborative discussions" with the hospital and Tenet assured the insurer that its members would receive appropriate heart care. Blue Cross had questioned the treatment of 23 patients at Doctors Medical. Tenet countered with an independent review by physicians who found the treatments consistent with standard practices. -- by Vince Galloro