The Internal Revenue Service subpoenaed Putnam General Hospital, Hurricane, W.Va., for billing documents related to physician John King, who has been accused in more than 100 malpractice lawsuits of performing unnecessary orthopedic procedures, the Associated Press reported. A lawyer for 68-bed Putnam General, owned by HCA, Nashville, confirmed the subpoena to the AP. The subpoena was revealed in one of the malpractice cases by a lawyer representing King, the AP said. The lawyer for Putnam General could not be reached at deadline. HCA announced earlier this week that it would cease inpatient services at the hospital on Aug. 29. Thomas Memorial Hospital, South Charleston, W.Va., is in talks with HCA about purchasing the hospital, said Bob Gray, vice president at Thomas Memorial.
Meanwhile, LifePoint Hospitals, Brentwood, Tenn., said a Delaware Chancery Court judge has dismissed a lawsuit brought by shareholder Accipiter Capital Management challenging LifePoint's procedures for nominating director candidates. The court sided with LifePoint in a preliminary ruling that allowed the company to go forward with its annual meeting in May as scheduled. Accipiter's challenge was, in part, related to LifePoint's then-pending purchase of five HCA hospitals, including Putnam General. LifePoint renegotiated the purchase to exclude Putnam General, and the deal closed June 30.