KERNERSVILLE, N.C.High Point (N.C.) Regional Health System agreed to drop its opposition to Novant Healths proposal to build a 50-bed hospital in Kernersville, Novant said. North Carolina regulators denied Novants application last year. When Winston-Salem-based Novant appealed, High Point filed a motion in favor of the original ruling, but has now agreed to drop that motion. A Novant spokesman said the system could not elaborate on the agreement, because the two sides have agreed to keep details confidential. A High Point spokesman confirmed the agreement. Novant said its officials will negotiate with the state to rectify the proposal.
HOUSTONHospital Partners of America, Charlotte, N.C., said that its 254-bed Twelve Oaks Medical Center, Houston, will develop an outpatient center and medical office space project with Memorial Clinical Associates, Houston. The project will be built near the Katy Freeway and serve the Spring Branch, Memorial and West Houston areas. The center will include imaging and diagnostic services and space for adding an urgent-care center. Hospital Partners is negotiating with other physicians to join the project, which may eventually include inpatient beds, the company said.
WILMINGTON, N.C.MedCath Corp., Charlotte, N.C., said 658-bed New Hanover Regional Medical Center, the largest hospital in Wilmington, will become a partner in MedCaths cardiac catheterization laboratory venture with physicians in eastern North Carolina. New Hanover will take a majority stake in the expanded joint venture, which also will manage New Hanovers inpatient cardiac catheterization laboratory. The expanded venture will be called Coastal Carolina Heart and will operate or manage eight cardiac catheterization laboratories, including a mobile one. Coastal Carolina Heart is expected to begin operating on July 1. MedCath owns a stake in and operates 11 hospitals in eight states.
HOUSTONThe Harris County (Texas) Hospital District has agreed to pay $15 million to settle allegations it made false claims to state and federal programs between 2000 and 2005, according to a settlement filed in U.S. District Court in Houston. The terms of the settlement were made public in late March after the hospital district board approved it in a public session, leading to a story in the Houston Chronicle. A billing services employee triggered an investigation in 2003 when he filed a lawsuit alleging the three-hospital public system sought Medicaid and Medicare payment before first looking for other third-party payers and improperly submitted claims for care provided to incarcerated patients rather than billing the individuals. Clerk Robert McCaslin Jr., who still works for the district, is set to receive $2.8 million of the federal governments share under the whistle-blower provisions of the False Claims Act, according to his lawyer, Mitch Kreindler. A hospital district news release emphasized that there was no allegation or admission of criminal wrongdoing in the matter. As soon as we learned of the possible errors, we instituted changes within our business processes to ensure that we were in compliance and will continue to be in compliance with Medicare and Medicaid regulations, district President and Chief Executive Officer David Lopez said in a written statement.
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