Tenet Enters Into Integrity Agreement With HHS
Texas-based hospital chain Tenet Healthcare on Thursday said it has entered into a five-year corporate integrity agreement with HHS, as required by the company's June settlement of claims that it overbilled Medicare, the Bloomberg/Philadelphia Inquirer reports (Preciphs, Bloomberg/Philadelphia Inquirer, 9/29). Tenet in June agreed to pay $900 million to settle investigations by the U.S. Department of Justice and several U.S. attorneys over allegations that it overbilled Medicare for the most costly care, made illegal kickbacks to doctors to refer Medicare patients to its hospitals and used improper Medicare billing codes, the Associated Press reports (Associated Press, 9/28).
Under the agreement, Tenet must maintain its existing company-wide code of conduct; formalize in writing its billing policies; comply with federal anti-kickback laws and clinical quality; and provide compliance instruction to employees, contractors and the hospital's governing board, according to Dow Jones (Dow Jones, 9/28).
Tenet CEO Trevor Fetter in a statement said that the company already has instituted several of the policy changes mandated by the integrity agreement during the past three years while under investigation (Associated Press, 9/28).