Justice Department Subpoena Seeks Two Tenet Hospitals’ Records
California-based Tenet Healthcare, the nation's second-largest for-profit hospital chain, has received a second subpoena from the Justice Department as part of an investigation into whether Tenet improperly billed Medicare for outlier payments, the Los Angeles Times reports (Peterson, Los Angeles Times, 10/18). The latest subpoena, issued by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Los Angeles, seeks documents from Tarzana Regional Medical Center and the University of Southern California University Hospital in Los Angeles, both of which are owned by Tenet subsidiaries, the AP/New York Times reports. The subpoena calls for billing and medical records for specific patients treated in the facilities from 1998 to the present and information about the hospitals' gross charges, according to Tenet officials (AP/New York Times, 10/18). In addition, the subpoena seeks personnel information about certain managers (Reuters, 10/17). The subpoena follows several other federal investigations into the company. The DOJ issued its first subpoena to the company in January (Philadelphia Inquirer, 10/18). Earlier this month, New Orleans-based People's Health Network, a Tenet affiliate, received a subpoena from the U.S. attorney's office for records that date from 1999 to the present. Since October 2002, the Senate Finance Committee, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the HHS Office of Inspector General and the Federal Trade Commission have launched separate investigations into Tenet related to alleged Medicare fraud and other issues. The company also faces an investigation by the California Healthline, 10/7). Tenet Spokesperson Gary Hopkins said, "We will continue to cooperate with the Department of Justice regarding this matter" (Los Angeles Times, 10/18).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.