CalPERS To Expand Investigation Into Tenet Billing Practices, Asks Blue Shield for More Information
CalPERS officials yesterday announced plans to expand an investigation into the billing practices of Tenet Healthcare, the state's largest for-profit hospital chain, the San Francisco Chronicle reports (Wallack, San Francisco Chronicle, 12/18). CalPERS officials last week asked Blue Cross of California to investigate whether the company overpaid for certain services or unnecessary surgeries at several Tenet hospitals statewide. CalPERS requested that officials from Blue Cross, which handles claims for 25% of 1.2 million CalPERS members, review bills paid to Tenet hospitals in Redding, Modesto, San Luis Obispo and Los Angeles (California Healthline, 12/16). At a meeting yesterday between CalPERS officials and representatives of Blue Shield of California, Blue Cross and the Service Employees International Union, CalPERS officials asked Blue Shield for similar information, the Chronicle reports (San Francisco Chronicle, 12/18). In November, SEIU officials asked CalPERS to investigate the prices and medical practices of Tenet. Officials from SEIU said that Tenet's average charge for a hospital stay in the 10 California counties in which the company operates was $33,547, more than 60% higher than at other local hospitals, according to an SEIU analysis of data from the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (California Healthline, 11/20). At the meeting yesterday, SEIU officials asked CalPERS to hire an independent committee to review information received from Blue Cross and Blue Shield (San Francisco Chronicle, 12/18).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.