KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Justice Dept. Joins In Whistleblower Suit Against Two Hospital Operators

This suit alleges that hospitals operated by Tenet Healthcare and Health Management Associates paid kickbacks to obstetrics clinics for referring certain patients.

The Wall Street Journal: Justice Department To Join Suit Against Tenet Healthcare, Health Management Associates
The Justice Department will join a whistleblower suit against Tenet Healthcare Corp. and Health Management Associates Inc. alleging the firms' Georgia hospitals illegally paid kickbacks to obstetrics clinics for referring low-income and undocumented patients to their facilities for deliveries, the department announced Wednesday. The suit is the latest in a wave of similar cases the Justice Department is pursuing against hospital operators, including at least eight separate cases against HMA for a range of tactics (Weaver, 2/19).

The Dallas Morning News: Federal Probe Latest Fraud Inquiry Involving Tenet
A federal investigation into kickbacks allegedly paid by Tenet Healthcare Corp. marks the latest fraud inquiry involving the Dallas-based hospital giant over the last decade. The disclosure this week comes as Tenet has tried to reshape its image and operations since 2006, when it reached a $900 million settlement, one of the largest ever, with the U.S. Justice Department to resolve fraud accusations. The new investigation alleges that four Tenet hospitals in Georgia and South Carolina made improper payments in return for patient referrals. Both investigations also were triggered by whistle-blower lawsuits filed under the U.S. False Claims Act, leading federal authorities to intervene as plaintiffs (Moffeit, 2/20).

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