St. Vincent Medical Center, Los Angeles, said it is facing a federal investigation into possible criminal activity within its now-shuttered liver transplant program and it is laying off 8% of its workforce, or 97 employees, after losing more than $15 million over the past eight months. The 314-bed hospital said it is "fully complying" with a subpoena received earlier this year from the U.S. attorney's office. St. Vincent halted its liver program in September 2005 after admitting that in 2003 its doctors improperly arranged for a Saudi Arabian national to receive an organ intended for a higher-priority patient. Staff members then falsified records to cover up the ethical breach, officials have said. The University of California-Irvine Medical Center also is being investigated by federal agencies for possible fraudulent billing related to its now-closed liver transplant program. UC-Irvine shut down the program in November 2005. -- by Laura B. Benko
L.A. hospital discloses criminal probe, layoffs
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