Tenet Healthcare Corp., Santa Barbara, Calif., said its losses widened in the fourth quarter to $954 million, or $2.05 per share, bringing losses for the full year ended Dec. 31, 2003, to $1.5 billion, or $3.17 per share. Fourth-quarter revenue fell 8.9% to $3.2 billion. Full-year revenue was down 2.9% to $13.2 billion. The company also disclosed it has set aside $30.2 million to pay the tentative settlements of two federal investigations. Tenet said it signed a letter of understanding to settle a 1997 whistleblower lawsuit against its North Ridge Medical Center, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., that alleged the company overpaid when acquiring physician practices as a way to induce referrals, then filed false Medicare cost reports that contained kickback-generated claims. The Justice Department joined some of the allegations in 2001. Tenet also said it has a tentative agreement to settle allegations that it improperly coded the post-discharge status of some Medicare patients from Jan. 1, 1992, to June 30, 2000. Tenet owns or operates 100 hospitals, including 31 it plans to divest. -- by Vince Galloro
Tenet loss soared in 4th quarter as revenue shrank
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