Additional Charges Filed Against Administrator at Tenet Healthcare-Owned Alvarado Medical Center
The Department of Justice on Thursday filed additional charges against Alvarado Hospital Medical Center associate administrator Mina Nazaryan, who was arrested last week as part of a federal investigation into alleged illegal payments to physicians by a subsidiary of Santa Barbara-based Tenet Healthcare that owns the hospital, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports (Berestein, San Diego Union-Tribune, 9/26). The San Diego U.S. Attorney's Office on Tuesday charged Nazaryan with one count of obstruction of justice and one count of tampering with witness testimony. According to the complaint, Nazaryan, who surrendered Sept. 23 before a federal judge in San Diego, allegedly accepted payments to arrange relocation agreements with physicians at Alvarado and obstructed the federal investigation into the issue (California Healthline, 9/25). Nazaryan was added to 10 of 19 counts of payment of illegal remuneration currently filed in the case, and she was added to one current count of conspiracy. In addition, Nazaryan was charged with three counts of obstruction of justice -- to which she pleaded not guilty -- and added as a defendant to a federal lawsuit filed in July. Nazaryan could face as many as 10 years in prison for the obstruction of justice charge and as many as five years in prison for each count of conspiracy, illegal remuneration and witness tampering. However, federal prosecutors said that she would likely serve no more than 10 years in prison if convicted on all counts. Nazaryan -- the second Tenet executive named in the lawsuit -- currently is free on bail and can return to work. Her trial is scheduled to begin Nov. 18 (San Diego Union-Tribune, 9/26).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.