Judge postpones decision on Tenet trial

Will Tenet's Alvarado Medical Center face a third criminal fraud trial? A federal judge on Monday agreed to delay a decision on the matter until May 22. That is raising hopes in some quarters that prosecutors will elect not to pursue further action against the company. Healthcare insiders have been closely tracking the government's bribery case against the San Diego hospital and former chief executive Barry Weinbaum for over a year. Two juries have reached non-decisions in the case, which centers on the hospital's practice of paying lucrative relocation bonuses to specialists to encourage them to move to the San Diego area. Prosecutors argued that the bonuses were tantamount to bribes. Tenet has maintained that such incentives are standard industry practice.

Tenet, of course, is arguing now that the time has come to move on. "Because there is no reason to believe any other jury would produce a different result, we earnestly hope that the prosecutors will decide not to try this case a third time," the company said in a statement.

- read this article from the Los Angeles Times