Tenet Healthcare Corp., Dallas, said it reached an agreement to settle lawsuits in nine states alleging that the company overcharged uninsured and underinsured patients for prescription drugs and other medical products and services. In its annual 10-K securities filing, Tenet said it had reserved $30 million for claims made under the settlement. If the agreement wins court approval in California, the lead plaintiffs there would try to get it approved by courts in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Missouri, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas. Under the settlement, Tenet would set up a process to administer claims made by self-pay patients treated at Tenet hospitals between June 15, 1999, and Dec. 31, 2004. Tenet also agreed to some limits on its billing and collection practices, mirroring the "Compact with the Uninsured" that the company began implementing last year. Tenet owns or operates 69 core hospitals. -- by Vince Galloro
Tenet offers uninsured settlement, reserves $30 million
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