Modern Healthcare - - LATE NEWS -

Com­mu­nity Health Sys­tems CEO Wayne Smith re­ceived no raise in base salary for 2016 af­ter the hos­pi­tal chain missed most earn­ings and stock price tar­gets in 2015, the com­pany said in a reg­u­la­tory fil­ing Thurs­day. Smith’s base salary will stay at $1.6 mil­lion again in 2016, while per­for­mance­based re­stricted stock grants will fall from a value of $9.3 mil­lion in 2015 to $2.3 mil­lion. Smith also felt the sting this year from the com­pany’s 2015 fi­nan­cial slump when his cash bonus was just $400,000, com­pared with $4.1 mil­lion in 2014, ac­cord­ing to the com­pany’s proxy state­ment in prepa­ra­tion for next month’s an­nual share­holder meet­ing. CHS, the na­tion’s sec­ond-largest hos­pi­tal chain by rev­enue, reached very few of its fi­nan­cial tar­gets in 2015 as net earn­ings for the year fell dras­ti­cally and its stock price plunged.

A Texas jury sided with Ab­bott Lab­o­ra­to­ries in a decade­long Medi­care fraud case that could have cost the com­pany as much as $1 bil­lion. A whis­tle-blower al­leged that the Illi­nois-based com­pany im­prop­erly mar­keted bile duct stents for uses not ap­proved by the U.S. Food and Drug Ad­min­is­tra­tion. The whis­tle-blower, for­mer Guidant Corp. sales rep­re­sen­ta­tive Kevin Colquitt, al­leged that he and other sales reps were trained to “robot­i­cally state” the cor­rect in­di­ca­tion for the de­vices be­fore ed­u­cat­ing physi­cians about the ben­e­fits of their off-la­bel uses. Guidant’s stent busi­ness was even­tu­ally bought by Ab­bott. Ab­bott said Medi­care wasn’t de­frauded be­cause the pro­gram does cover off-la­bel use of bile stents.

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed into law his plan to keep the state’s first-in-the-na­tion hy­brid Med­i­caid ex­pan­sion and urged fel­low Repub­li­cans to avoid a Wash­ing­ton­style shut­down fight over their ef­forts to de­fund the pro­gram. Hutchinson’s plan calls for re­work­ing the pro­gram, which uses federal funds to pur­chase pri­vate in­sur­ance for more than 250,000 low-in­come peo­ple. The state House and Se­nate ap­proved the mea­sures by wide mar­gins, but they were shy of the votes that will be needed in an up­com­ing ses­sion for legislation fund­ing the pro­gram.

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