HHS Gives Redding Medical Center Extension for Investigation That Could Bar Hospital From Medicare, Medicaid
The federal government is allowing Redding Medical Center more time to convince officials not to ban the hospital from participating in the Medicare and Medicaid programs, HHS Office of Inspector General spokesperson Don White said Thursday, the Sacramento Bee reports. Last month, the OIG gave officials at the hospital, which is owned by Santa Barbara-based Tenet Healthcare, 35 days to gather evidence supporting its case that the hospital should not be banned from participating in Medicare and Medicaid. The programs account for as much as 75% of the hospital's inpatient revenues (Griffith, Sacramento Bee, 10/3). On Aug. 6, Tenet officials agreed to pay $54 million to settle allegations that two doctors performed unnecessary heart surgeries and defrauded Medicare. Tenet did not admit wrongdoing under the settlement but agreed to implement new procedures at Redding. The settlement ended federal civil and criminal investigations into Tenet, subsidiary Tenet HealthSystems Hospitals and Redding, but it allowed investigations into the involvement of individuals in the alleged Medicare fraud at Redding to continue (California Healthline, 9/11). White declined to provide additional details on the decision and would not disclose the duration of the extension, saying that negotiations between HHS OIG and the medical center are ongoing. Tenet spokesperson Steven Campanini said, "We take [the Medicare and Medicaid] issue[s] very seriously, and we are assembling documents and other evidence that will explain why we think excluding Redding Medical Center from Medicare and other federal programs is unwarranted and would have a negative impact on our hospital and our community" (Sacramento Bee, 10/3).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.