Piedmont Healthcare System, Rock Hill, S.C., a hospital owned by Tenet Healthcare Corp., has reached an agreement with York County, S.C., on hospital gross charges that clarifies Piedmont's duties under the original sale terms of the hospital to Tenet. Piedmont is prohibited from having the highest average gross charges among a group of 10 hospitals, including itself, as measured by charge data reported to South Carolina regulators. The new agreement clarifies confusing aspects of the contract between Tenet and York County and makes clear how Piedmont must respond when its charges are the highest among the peer group, Tenet spokesman Steven Campanini said. In a separate agreement, Tenet pledged to donate about $880,000 over the next five years to several community-based healthcare and scholarship programs in York County. County officials could not be reached at deadline. A private class-action lawsuit was filed in June 2003 on behalf of Piedmont patients whose charges, the lawsuit alleged, were too high under the sales agreement. Campanini did not know the status of the lawsuit. The lawyer who filed the lawsuit was not available Thursday. Tenet owns or operates 99 hospitals, including 30 it is divesting. -- by Vince Galloro
Tenet S.C. hospital, county reach pact on prices
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