Tenet Healthcare Corp., Dallas, said its North Ridge Medical Center, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., is for sale. The company prefers other growth opportunities to spending its capital on North Ridge, and believes that another local operator could more easily take advantage of those opportunities, Tenet spokesman Steve Campanini said. The hospital's financial performance also was a factor in the decision, Campanini said.
The 391-bed hospital lost $39.3 million on $90.5 million in net revenue in 2006, according to the American Hospital Directory. Over the years, the hospital has faced increased competition for cardiac services because Florida relaxed its certificate-of-need standards related to heart care, Campanini said. Tenet owns or operates 58 hospitals, including North Ridge and three others held for sale.
Tenet paid $22.5 million in 2004 to settle federal fraud charges related to purchases of physician practices by North Ridge. Last month, the U.S. Justice Department filed a civil lawsuit against Christi Sulzbach, Tenet's former general counsel and chief compliance officer, claiming that she certified that Tenet was in compliance with Medicare regulations even as she was aware that the North Ridge contracts were illegal. Sulzbach's lawyer denied the charges. -- by Vince Galloro
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