The Florida attorney general and 13 public hospitals and health systems in the state sued Tenet Healthcare Corp., Dallas, alleging that the company caused the hospitals "direct, foreseeable and substantial economic harm" by manipulating the Medicare outlier system. Tenet received more than $1 billion in wrongful reimbursement because of its actions, according to the complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Miami. The complaint seeks unspecified damages and demands that Tenet disgorge all revenue generated from "unfair competition or unconscionable, unfair or deceptive acts."
In a news release, Tenet General Counsel Peter Urbanowicz said, "This civil lawsuit makes some very strong allegations that are unwarranted. ... Frankly, we are surprised that the plaintiffs would bring this suit, more than two years after Tenet voluntarily reduced the amount of outlier payments we received from the Medicare program and adopted stringent new policies governing such payments well before federal regulators promulgated such policies for the entire hospital industry." -- by Melanie Evans