In San Diego, the jury is out in a closely-watched case involving Tenet's Alvarado Medical Center. Federal prosecutors accuse the hospital of violating federal kickback statutes by paying relocation bonuses to out-of-state doctors. The hospital and former chief executive Barry Weinbaum both face charges in the case. Tenet continues to insist it did nothing wrong, and that the incentives were necessary to attract physicians to San Diego at a time when real estate prices in the area were unusually high.
While a guilty verdict could be a negative for already struggling Tenet, the case is also being followed by hospital executives who fear it may set an unwelcome precedent. The chain's defenders point out that relocation incentives designed to attract talent are widespread within the industry, particularly at facilities in rural areas.
- read this article from The Wall Street Journal (sub. req.)
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