KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Tenn.-Based Hospital Company To Pay $98 Million To Settle Improper Billing Claims

Community Health Systems and the federal Justice Department announced the settlement Monday. In other hospital news, Tenet says its financial outlook is improving.

The Associated Press: Community Health Paying $98M To Settle US Claims
Community Health Systems Inc. has agreed to pay $98 million to settle federal claims of improper billing by the hospital company. The Justice Department and Community Health announced the settlement Monday. The government alleges that the company admitted patients to the hospital when it wasn't medically necessary and then billed Medicare, Medicaid and the military's Tricare program for those inpatient services. Community Health should have billed for less costly outpatient or observation cases, the government said. Franklin, Tennessee-based Community Health said there is no finding of improper conduct under the settlement and denied any wrongdoing (8/4).

The Wall Street Journal: Tenet Healthcare's Loss Narrows As Admissions Increase
Tenet Healthcare Corp. said its second-quarter loss narrowed amid improved admissions that received a boost from the U.S. health-care policy overhaul. For the year, the hospital operator raised its projection for adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization to a range of $1.85 billion to $1.95 billion, from its previous estimate of $1.8 billion to $1.9 billion. Tenet in October completed its acquisition of Vanguard Health Systems Inc., a move that aimed to broaden its geographic reach (Stynes, 8/4).

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