Tenet Healthcare Corp., Santa Barbara, Calif., has agreed in principle to sell its 188-bed Redding (Calif.) Medical Center to prevent the hospital's exclusion from Medicare and Medicaid. Sources said Tenet would be the first company to sell a hospital because of such circumstances. Redding has been involved in several investigations because of allegations that two physicians performed unnecessary cardiac procedures there. In August, Tenet agreed without admitting wrongdoing to pay $54 million to settle its potential liability from the allegations. The following month, HHS said it would begin proceedings to exclude Redding from participation in government healthcare programs because of alleged quality-of-care violations. In October 2002, government agents raided the hospital and the offices of the two physicians -- the hospital's cardiology director, Chae Hyun Moon, and its chairman of cardiac surgery, Fidel Realyvasquez Jr. At the time, witnesses alleged that doctors and patients had complained to hospital administration about the medical necessity of procedures but were ignored. Tenet or its predecessor companies have owned Redding since 1972. The physicians haven't been criminally charged in the case, and neither has staff privileges nor practices at the hospital anymore. -- by Mark Taylor
Tenet to sell Redding hospital in deal with HHS
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