In the first known case of a hospital being divested to avert its exclusion from Medicare and Medicaid, Tenet Healthcare Corp. has found a buyer for 238-bed Redding (Calif.) Medical Center. Tenet said Hospital Partners of America, Charlotte, N.C., formerly OrthoNeuro Corp., has signed a definitive agreement to buy parts of Redding in an asset sale valued at $60 million. Two surgeons allegedly performed unnecessary surgeries at Redding and fraudulently billed Medicare, and Redding has been a focus of several investigations into the matter, beginning with an October 2002 federal raid first disclosed by Modern Healthcare. Last year Tenet, without admitting wrongdoing, paid $54 million to settle its possible civil liability in the case. And in December, HHS' top investigative official ordered the healthcare system to divest the hospital or risk its exclusion from federal health programs. Tenet plans to sell 27 other hospitals, including 19 in California. The target of numerous unrelated investigations, the company overhauled its leadership and governance over the past several months. Hospital Partners and physician partners own 356-bed Twelve Oaks Medical Center in Houston, which they bought from Tenet, and 25-bed Austin (Texas) Surgical Hospital. Hospital Partners Chief Executive Officer Todd Johnson declined comment on the Redding deal. -- by Mark Taylor
Tenet sheds scandal-racked Redding hospital
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