Tenet Shareholders Demand New CEO - page 2
Tenet Shareholders Demand New CEO MIAMI - A shareholder group said Monday it won't wage a proxy contest to name an alternative slate of directors at Tenet Healthcare Corp. Investor M. Lee... Read More
Jun 11, '03Hey SpaceNurse,
You aren't annoying me. Makes me want to go out and try to get a job with Tenet. NOT!!!!! O' my gosh, I sure feel bad for those RN's. More power to them in finding other employment. I know it's easier said then done, but I wouldn't want my name or license associated with such a gang of low life scum. They make me want to vomit. It's really hard to read the articles and remain calm, I can't imagine having to read this crap and be a part of the orginization. To any of you that are Nurses for this company, Good Luck to you and your future.
Jun 11, '03<<In a country where so many people have no or little medical insurance, this man was paid $116 million for running a medical-care company at a loss.
Along with the $116 million comes an astonishing "retirement" package that we mere mortals can hardly imagine. >>
And no money to hire staff to provide the care his customers were there for. No money to make improvements that would make his business a place where those people might want to work.
Jun 12, '03http://www.sacbee.com/content/news/c...-7782006c.html
Prisoner health-care costs draw ire, audit
Disproportionate increases at Tenet hospitals help spur lawmakers to act.
By Lisa Rapaport -- Bee Staff Writer
Published 2:15 a.m. PDT Wednesday, June 11, 2003
California legislators Tuesday ordered an audit of state spending on health care for prisoners, adding the Department of Corrections to the growing list of agencies involved in several state and federal probes of hospital costs.
The Joint Legislative Audit Committee approved a request by Assemblywoman Rebecca Cohn, D-Saratoga, and Assemblyman Dario Frommer, D-Los Angeles, to review prison contracts with hospitals to see if the state is overpaying for inmates' care.
The price of care varies wildly among the 104 hospitals statewide that contract with prisons, department records show.
Tenet Healthcare, already under investigation for its bills to agencies ranging from the California Public Employees' Retirement System to Medi-Cal, was a major factor behind the rising cost of inmate hospitalizations over the past three fiscal years, records show.
The total cost of prisoners' care at Tenet facilities rose nearly twice as fast as the costs at non-Tenet hospitals, according to Frommer's analysis of the department's hospital costs. During that time, the average cost of an outpatient visit at a Tenet hospital -- $1,262 -- was 80 percent higher than the $700 average at non-Tenet facilities.
"While we're in the midst of California's worst budget crisis ever, how can we cut health care services to law-abiding citizens while being asked to increase budgets to care for criminals?" Frommer asked.
Department of Corrections spokeswoman Terry Thornton said the agency is by "no means alone" in facing ever-higher hospital bills.
"I believe we are getting the best rates that we can, especially in light of the fact that not everybody wants to contract with us because of the security risk and special needs of our patients," Thornton said.
Spending on inmate health care will be one of the major factors increasing the department's budget in the coming years, according to a recent report by the Legislative Analyst's Office. In addition, the LAO found that the cost of medical care for inmates has led the price of health care at the department to increase much faster than the costs for other prison services.
The department has been criticized in past audits for failing to negotiate the best deals on health care and for ineffective management of ongoing treatment of chronically ill patients.
Other government health programs, including Medi-Cal, which insures low-income Californians, and CalPERS, which insures state workers, have reduced their health costs by signing contracts with HMOs.
The audit will examine how the Department of Corrections negotiates its contracts, the payment rates and types of contracts it signs, and its bidding process. In addition, the audit will review claims from inmate hospitalizations and compare those costs against costs incurred by Medi-Cal.
The audit will cost about $204,000; no due date was set.
Tenet Healthcare has been under fire for its prices since last fall when two doctors at its Redding Medical Center were accused of performing unnecessary heart surgeries and inappropriately billing government health programs and HMOs.
Since then, Tenet has taken steps to revise its pricing, said company spokesman Steve Campanini. In addition, Tenet officials appeared before the Assembly Health Committee, which Frommer chairs, in February to explain the company's billing.
"We believe our pricing is in line with the rest of the industry," Campanini said. "We will cooperate with the audit committee's review of state contracting with the California Department of Corrections.
About the Writer
The Bee's Lisa Rapaport can be reached at (916) 321-1005 or email@example.com.
Jun 13, '0306/13/2003
Hospitals owned by Santa Barbara-based Tenet Healthcare have higher list prices for health care services than other U.S. hospitals, a study commissioned by the California Nurses Association released Wednesday found, the San Luis Obispo Tribune reports (Lyons, San Luis Obispo Tribune, 6/12). The study, conducted by the Institute for Health and Socio-Economic Policy, analyzed 4,292 U.S. hospitals using Medicare cost reports for fiscal year 2000-2001 (Singer, Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, 6/12). Researchers found that Twin Cities Community Hospital in Templeton has the fourth-highest listed prices in the United States, with charges 761% higher than the actual cost of services, while Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center, San Luis Obispo, had the fifth-highest listed prices, at 758% above the actual cost of services (San Luis Obispo Tribune, 6/12). Doctors Medical Center in Modesto had the highest prices, charging 1,092% above costs. The report also found that chain hospitals had higher listed prices than independent facilities, public hospitals or those run by not-for-profit groups.
Tenet spokesperson Steve Campanini said the company "questions the methodology and will not dignify the report with a response" because CNA currently is involved in "a protracted strike" at some Northern California Tenet facilities (Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, 6/12). Jan Emerson, vice president of external affairs for the California Healthcare Association, said the report should be viewed "in terms of what is CNA's agenda," adding, "They're fighting Tenet." In addition, some critics say that comparing prices is not an effective way to compare billing because hospitals almost never receive the listed price from insurers, Medicare or Medicaid, according to the Tribune. Don DeMoro, director of the study, said the report was not biased by conflicts between Tenet and the CNA (San Luis Obispo Tribune, 6/12). The report is available online. Note: You must have Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the report.
California Healthline is published for California HealthCare Foundation by The Advisory Board Company.
.Last edit by pickledpepperRN on Jun 13, '03
Jun 13, '03thank you for making us aware of the shady dealings of this deplorable company. Sadly, I am sure Tenet is not alone is such behaviors. It's a national disgrace.
Jun 14, '03Moriarty describes the nurses as "canaries" who are the only true patient advocates throughout the Tenet system.
Tenet Tussle Shows Dissent Rising in Ranks
By Melissa Davis
06/10/2003 02:50 PM EDT
The biggest threat to Tenet (THC:NYSE - news - commentary) could be festering inside its own walls.
Already ambushed by numerous external probes, the giant hospital operator now must deal with mounting attacks from within
its own ranks. During the past week, at least one physician and thousands of registered nurses have taken fresh swings at the
ailing hospital chain. Both parties essentially accuse Tenet of violating federal laws.
For Tenet, the doctor's testimony could prove especially troubling. By now, the hospital chain is accustomed to serious
allegations from nurses seeking workplace improvements. But the doctor's attack -- which already has triggered one indictment
-- appears to be a first.
"Never before has the government been able to get between Tenet and its doctors," said Jim Moriarty, a Houston attorney who
scored a huge settlement against Tenet nearly a decade ago. "This could be the linchpin that brings the whole company down."
Tenet has downplayed the indictment as the "unfortunate" result of one doctor's desperate attempts to avoid jail time for his
own misconduct. Investors continued to watch warily, sending the stock -- which has lost 69% of its value over the last year --
up a nickel Tuesday to $16.05.
Based largely on the testimony of former internist Paul Ver Hoeve -- described by Tenet as a "disgraced physician" guilty of 64
counts of felony Medicare fraud -- federal authorities last week indicted Alvarado Hospital CEO Barry Weinbaum on charges
he broke Medicare laws himself.
Specifically, the feds have accused Weinbaum of paying various physicians more than $10 million in the aggregate to relocate
to San Diego and refer Medicare patients to the Tenet-owned hospital Weinbaum has led there for more than a decade.
The indictment also alleges that Weinbaum knew he was breaking rules and attempted to cover his tracks. The government
cites testimony from Ver Hoeve -- who confessed to participating in the alleged scam -- as evidence for its case.
"Barry Weinbaum instructed Dr. Paul Ver Hoeve and his accountant not to characterize the money that Alvarado Hospital had
paid to Dr. Paul Ver Hoeve through the relocated physicians as 'Alvarado Income,'" the indictment states. So "Dr. Paul Ver
Hoeve directed his accountant to change the characterization of the money that he received from Alvarado Hospital from
'Alvarado Income' to 'Other Income.'"
In some underserved areas -- such as rural states and Indian reservations -- hospitals are allowed to pay relocation expenses
for physicians who are willing to practice there. But Moriarty, for one, scoffs at the notion that Tenet needed perks to lure
doctors to a Southern California city best known for its mild weather and beautiful beaches.
"That's an outrageous joke," Moriarty said. "When Tenet deliberately intercedes like that, it results in the most egregious
violation of a doctor's duties. Now, the doctors are serving Tenet instead of their patients."
Moriarty is representing dozens of patients and survivors who've taken aim at Tenet's most scandalized hospital. Essentially,
Moriarty's clients believe that doctors at Tenet's Redding, Calif., hospital performed dangerous -- and unnecessary -- heart
procedures on them just to generate huge payments from Medicare. Since the Redding scandal broke last fall, Tenet has
slowed down its billing for such procedures and shut down its busy Redding heart center because of a huge slump in
admissions. But Redding heart surgeons, the hospital and Tenet itself remain under investigation by federal authorities.
Moriarty estimates that Tenet faces at least $1 billion in legal bills because of its practices at Redding alone. He describes Tenet
as a hospital chain that has always viewed patients as nothing more than "billing opportunities." And he insists that Tenet's
problems are systemwide.
For its part, Tenet has portrayed the Redding fiasco as an isolated problem that appears to be limited to two contract
physicians who no longer practice at the hospital. But the company, which has denied any wrongdoing itself, faces serious
patient backlash at other facilities as well. Busy Tenet hospitals on both sides of the country currently stand accused of
providing poor or unnecessary medical treatment.
A former employee of Hilton Head Medical Center, a Tenet hospital in South Carolina, says doctors there regularly took risks
-- with management's blessing.
"Because there was no open-heart unit, the hospital's cath [catheterization] lab was only licensed by the state to do emergency
heart caths -- not routine caths," the former employee said. "Despite this, the cardiologists regularly scheduled patients for
nonemergent cardiac caths.
"Management knew about this, of course. But since the procedures generated enormous profits, they didn't do anything to stop
The California Nurses Association -- a vocal critic of Tenet -- predicts that scandals will soon erupt at multiple Tenet facilities.
In the meantime, the powerful group is fighting to unionize Tenet's home-state nurses against the company's wishes. Last week,
the union explicitly accused Tenet of breaking labor laws by attempting to block nurses from voting to join its ranks and pushing
them toward less critical unions instead.
Tenet hammered out a deal last month with two CNA competitors -- the Service Employees Union and the American
Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees -- that guarantees nurses set raises in exchange for joining the one of the
two unions and curtailing the threat of future strikes. Since then, an estimated 2,500 employees at six Tenet hospitals have
taken the company up on its offer. But CNA -- perhaps the state's most powerful union -- claims far greater support.
In a statement last week, CNA said that 4,000 registered nurses at 13 Tenet hospitals have signed petitions demanding that
CNA be added to the list of union choices.
"Tenet RNs do not want sham elections. They do not want Tenet handpicking a union for them. And they are offended at
Tenet's crass efforts to bribe them into voting for" another union, CNA stated last week. "CNA is confident that the elections
will go forward, and that the illegal backroom deal will be overturned."
CNA is primarily fighting to improve working conditions for current Tenet nurses and secure healthcare benefits for retired
ones. But CNA's powerful voice -- rather than its specific labor demands -- may prove to be the biggest threat for Tenet. The
big California union has aggressively sought to expose alleged abuses inside Tenet hospitals and, by now, dedicates an entire
section of its Web site to the company's scandals.
Moriarty describes the nurses as "canaries" who are the only true patient advocates throughout the Tenet system. But he now
has his ear turned in another direction. Moriarty believes the newly indicted Weinbaum -- currently backed by Tenet as "ethical
and admired" -- could soon be singing as well.
"He will tell all," Moriarty predicted. "If I were the top five or 10 Tenet executives, I'd be hiring the best criminal lawyers in
America right now."
Jun 17, '03http://www.fresnobee.com/business/st...-7898988c.html
Tenet will cut 300 positions
(Published Sunday, June 15, 2003, 5:15 AM)
SANTA BARBARA -- Tenet Healthcare Corp. will cut 300 jobs over the next three years as it streamlines its billing operations, the company said.
Tenet said it will consolidate 56 business offices that handle billing and collection activities for its hospitals to eight regional offices and one office to handle Medicare transactions.
The company said it will reduce its billing and collection staff of 3,200 by 300 over three years.
Where appropriate, it will offer some of those workers other jobs within the company, it said.