Federal, Local Officials Investigating Hospital in San Bernardino County
On Thursday, federal investigators and San Bernardino County authorities issued a search warrant and seized documents at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in Colton, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Purpose of Inquiry Unclear
San Bernardino County District Attorney Michael Ramos said the investigation was coordinated by the San Bernardino County Joint Corruption Task Force, which includes agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the county district attorney's office.
Investigators did not provide details about the materials they removed from the 456-bed hospital. They also declined to comment on the purpose of the investigation (Hennessy-Fiske, Los Angeles Times, 11/5).
However, investigators said the document seizure is not related to patient care or treatment issues.
Allegations by Local Officials
San Bernardino County Supervisor Neil Derry said he does not know what the agents were searching for at ARMC. However, Derry noted that he approached authorities eight months ago after receiving "credible information regarding (the hospital) and improprieties related to free services."
County Administrative Officer Greg Devereaux also said he is unaware of the purpose of the investigation. Devereaux said he discovered this year that ARMC had waived copayments for county employees for an unspecified amount of time. He said he discontinued the practice, adding that his office has yet to determine the amount of money that went uncollected (Hines/Ghori, Riverside Press-Enterprise, 11/4).
Hospital, CountyÂ Response
Hospital officials declined to comment on the investigation.
David Wert, spokesperson for San Bernardino County, said ARMC and the county are cooperating fully with authorities. He added that the investigation is not interfering with operations at the hospital (San Bernardino County Sun, 11/4).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.