HHS inspector generals office is investigating arrangements between 787-bed Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Chicago, and Northwestern Medical Faculty Foundation, the hospital revealed in a November disclosure to bondholders. Within unaudited financial statements, the hospital reported that it was producing documents and information in response to subpoenas received Aug. 8, 2008, that seek information relating to certain relationships between or among Northwestern Memorial and NMFF, referring to the affiliated group of more than 500 physicians on faculty at Northwestern Universitys Feinberg School of Medicine. Northwestern Memorial and the physicians group issued a written statement in response to queries about the probe: We believe those arrangements are compliant with the legal requirements and intend to fully cooperate with the OIG during this inquiry. Separately last month, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) sent a letter to Northwestern University President Henry Bienen and Northwestern Memorial President and Chief Executive Officer Dean Harrison questioning the use of an implantable device in heart-valve repairs performed at the hospital by a physician who invented it, even though the device lacked Food and Drug Administration approval for use in clinical research.
Feds probe deals between Ill. teaching hospital, docs
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