Administrator at Tenet-Owned Alvarado Medical Center Arrested
An associate administrator at San Diego-based Alvarado Hospital Medical Center was arrested on Tuesday as part of a federal investigation into alleged illegal payments to physicians by a subsidiary of Tenet Healthcare that owns the hospital, the AP/New York Times reports (AP/New York Times, 9/25). A federal grand jury in July issued a 17-count criminal indictment of Alvarado Hospital; hospital CEO Barry Weinbaum; and Alvarado owner Tenet HealthSystem Hospitals, a Tenet subsidiary, over allegations that Alvarado paid more than $10 million for more than 100 physician-relocation agreements between 1992 and 2000. The agreements are used to recruit physicians to move to the community served by the hospital (California Healthline, 7/18). The San Diego U.S. Attorney's Office on Tuesday charged Alvarado administrator Mina Nazaryan with one count of obstruction of justice and one count of tampering with witness testimony (White, Los Angeles Times, 9/25). According to the complaint, Nazaryan, who surrendered Tuesday in front of 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. Tenet officials said that they expected federal authorities to add the complaint against Nazaryan to the indictments issued in July (AP/New York Times, 9/25). Tenet officials did not comment on the complaint but said that the company policy on physician-relocation agreements "is entirely appropriate under the law" (Los Angeles Times, 9/25).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.