Tenet fined US$513m
US hospital giant Tenet Healthcare and two of its subsidiaries will pay US$513 million to settle charges it bribed prenatal care clinics to win referrals to hospitals.
Tenet paid bribes and kickbacks to clinics serving primarily undocumented Hispanic women in Georgia and South Carolina to drive referrals to Tenet facilities and win more than $145 million in Medicaid and Medicare funds.
The clinics involved falsely told the women their costs associated with childbirth would only be covered under Medicaid if they went to a Tenet hospital, according to the charges.
Under a civil settlement, Tenet agreed to $368 million to resolve a lawsuit filed by the US and Ralph Williams, a whistleblower.
Two Atlanta-based Tenet subsidiaries, Atlanta Medical Center and North Fulton Medical Center, pleaded guilty to fraud and violating anti-kickback laws. They will forfeit $145 million in ill-gotten gains obtained through the federal programs. –