Corporate Compliance

U.S. Justice Department helps FL suits against Tenet

Compliance Monitor, May 25, 2005

The U.S. Justice Department in a friend-of-the-court brief last week disputed Tenet Healthcare Corp.'s position that the nation's second largest hospital chain could claim payments for severely ill patients "based on whatever it wanted to charge," Dow Jones reported May 19.

The Justice Department filed its brief as an addendum to two Florida lawsuits, which Tenet is attempting to have thrown out. The suits, filed by Florida Attorney General Charlie Crist and the Boca Raton Community Hospital, allege Tenet improperly inflated charges in the past to obtain outlier payments for treating very ill patients.

Meanwhile, Justice is conducting its own investigation into Tenet regarding whether the provider violated the False Claims Act by claiming more than $1.6 billion in outlier payments to which it was not entitled, Dow Jones reported.