Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

You’re crooks. And besides, you’re not paying us enough.

Posted by Charles II on April 18, 2011

That would probably be the Culture of Truth distillation of a news story involving Tenet Healthcare and Community Healthcare, had he come across it. Don Jeffrey of Bloomberg:

Tenet Healthcare Corp. (THC), after rejecting Community Health Systems Inc. (CYH)’s unsolicited buyout offer, said it sued that company for allegedly overbilling Medicare in admitting patients to its hospitals. Community Health Systems shares plunged.

Tenet seeks to compel Community Health Systems to disclose how it admits patients to hospitals for “financial rather than clinical purposes,” according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing today in which Tenet said it filed the lawsuit in federal court in Texas.

Community Health, the largest publicly traded hospital company in the U.S., bid $6 a share in cash and stock, or $7.3 billion, in November to acquire Tenet. Tenet rejected the offer in December, saying it wasn’t “remotely fair.”

As Jonathan Weil, also on Bloomberg says, this is like Snooki of Jersey Shore calling someone else on the cast a trashy boozer:

Grand acts of self-immolation aside, what makes this lawsuit comical is Tenet’s own history of ripping off the government, as well as its own shareholders.

Here’s a company that paid more than $900 million as part of a 2006 settlement with the Justice Department, after the government accused Tenet of fraudulently overbilling the nation’s Medicare and Medicaid programs. (The settlement was structured so there would be no formal finding that Tenet had engaged in illegal behavior.)

Tenet paid a $10 million fine to the Securities and Exchange Commission in 2007 to settle accounting fraud claims. That was about a year after the company agreed to a $216.5 million class-action settlement with Tenet investors.


And yet Tenet, the third-largest publicly traded U.S. hospital operator, has the audacity to accuse the second-largest chain of running a crooked outfit.

Tenet Healthcare’s board includes that paragon of virtue, Jeb Bush (and, as if to show that the corruption is bipartisan, former Sen. Bob Kerrey). The crooks at Community Health Systems are less well known.

(note: I edited out of Weil’s otherwise reasonable rant a comment that attempted to characterize the euthanasia of patients in New Orleans during Katrina as an example of Tenet corporate culture. The medical staff acted in what they believed was the best interest of the patients. That is precisely not the kind of attitude that Tenet’s corporate culture represents)

2 Responses to “You’re crooks. And besides, you’re not paying us enough.”

  1. jo6pac said

    Yep, one criminal origination against another and we get hurt when they’re done. I’m sure the govt. will help solve the problems of bad health care providers;)

  2. Ai-yi-yi.

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