The Department of Health and Human Services said it wants to bar Tenet's Alvarado Medical Center in San Diego from participating in federal programs over charges that the hospital broke anti-kickback laws by paying doctors large relocation bonuses. The step would prevent the provider from participating in Medicare and Medicaid, effectively eliminating a major revenue stream. Such threats are often considered largely symbolic, however. HHS rarely imposes the punishment, as doing so is generally seen as a death sentence. Observers note that it was a similar threat against Tenet's Redding Medical Center that forced the chain to sell the majority of it's California properties, setting off a two year slump. Tent now has thirty days to issue a response. The hospital chain released a statement calling the decision "unfair."
- read this article from the Los Angeles Times
PLUS: Tenet reported a $70 million profit in the first quarter on revenue of $2.41 billion. The numbers were not as good on the admissions side, however. The chain said overall admissions were down 6.7 percent and hospital admissions dropped 3.5 percent. Article