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News Briefs: February 17, 2020

Tenet Healthcare Corp. and an affiliated hospital, Desert Regional Medical Center, have agreed to pay $1.41 million to settle False Claims Act (FCA) allegations they billed Medicare for implanting unnecessary cardiac monitors, the Department of Justice said[1] Feb. 11. According to the settlement, DOJ contends it has certain civil claims against Tenet and the hospital “arising from medically unnecessary claims submitted to Medicare for certain implantations of cardiac event recorders (HCPCS code C1764).” The FCA lawsuit was set in motion by a whistleblower, Michael Grace, who was the risk manager and patient safety officer at Desert Regional Medical Center, said his attorney, Vince McKnight, of Sanford Heisler Sharp. He said the complaint is still sealed. In a statement, Tenet said the settlement relates to a portion of cardiac loop recorder devices implanted from 2014 to 2017. “We stand behind the efforts of our team—our hospital and physicians identified and took steps to address this matter prior to the filing of the lawsuit and remain committed to full compliance with all federal healthcare program requirements.”

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