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Last August, Crain's reported that 14 layoffs of advanced practice providers could be tied to concerns that DMC and Tenet had that services the nurse practitioners and physician assistants were delivering to private doctors might run afoul of federal laws designed to prevent improper patient referrals to the hospital.

crains business report detroit

The status of that investigation isn't known. A spokesperson for the U. Tenet also reported to the U. Securities and Exchange Commission that the U. It is not known the date of the request from the U. DMC officials referred comments to Tenet corporate in Dallas.


He said Tenet would provide updates on the issue in future filings. At issue is a settlement agreement Tenet signed with the Department of Justice tied to allegations at two Atlanta-area subsidiaries.

The NPA runs through Feb. Tenet said in its 10K filing that the company could have "breached the terms of the non-prosecution agreement by failing to promptly report 'evidence or allegations of actual or potential violations of the Anti-Kickback Statute' to the DOJ as required by the non-prosecution agreement.

crains business report detroit

The False Claims Act imposes liability on people or companies who defraud governmental programs such as Medicare and Medicaid. Federal fraud investigators are highly attuned to any arrangement hospitals might have with physicians that would lead to paying doctors for patient admissions or diagnostic services performed by the hospital, health care lawyers have told Crain's.

For example, blatant violations would be a hospital paying fees for admissions or services, but could also include offering doctors office leases at below market value, or free or discounted services like advanced-practice providers' coverage of private doctors' patients.

Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Michigan and the Civil Division of the Department of Justice requesting that the company produce documents related to a civil investigation of DMC for potential violations of the Stark law, the Anti-kickback Statute and the False Claims Act related to the allegations contained in the Crain's article.

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At the time, Tenet officials told Crain's the layoffs were part of a normal evaluation of health care worker efficiency and department needs. Tenet officials told Crain's they were unaware if any of the advanced practice providers performed services for private doctors that violated the company's anti-fraud policies and denied the layoffs were connected to any concerns about potential federal investigations.

A Tenet spokesman cited Tenet policy that hospital-employed non-physician providers are prohibited from performing "any service for which a physician is responsible" in which "any physician receives payment.

But six sources who requested anonymity told Crain's last summer that DMC and Tenet officials had been concerned that the staffing model it had been using for years to allow advanced practice nurses to service private practice physicians at some of its six hospitals could potentially run afoul of federal anti-kickback, false claims act and Stark law provisions.

For example, if private physicians also billed for inpatient services they didn't perform themselves and DMC-employed advanced practice nurses provided the services free or for less than market value to the doctors, the practice could be viewed by federal fraud regulators as an inducement for patient referrals, health lawyers told Crain's.

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Next steps Tenet said it has hired an outside law firm to review the company's compliance with its reporting obligations.

It is not known when the compliance law firm was hired, but one health lawyer, who asked to remain anonymous, said it probably occurred when Tenet signed the NPA in late The Justice Department informed Tenet this year that it will wait until a retrospective review is complete before making a decision on possible punishment for the breach in reporting.

The latest Michigan and Detroit business news including stories on retail, health care, hospitals and housing. More apartments and a new hotel are coming to the east Detroit riverfront. The $ million development will bring apartments and a room hotel, reports Kirk Pinho of Crain's Detroit Business. CRAIN'S DETROIT BUSINESS. CRAIN'S DETROIT BUSINESS. Author: Amy Sawade Created Date: 8/11/ PM.

Waldmann declined to say whether Tenet had the outside compliance law firm review DMC practices for compliance with federal statutes. But the DOJ also told Tenet that it "does not intend to prosecute the company or DMC for the underlying conduct that gave rise to the non-prosecution agreement for purposes of enforcing the breach provision of the NPA.

Tenet said it believes that the review and discussions with the DOJ will continue into the second quarter and does not expect that the remedy for the NPA breach will have a material effect on revenue, profitability or stock prices on the company. Under the terms of the NPA, Tenet has agreed to cooperate with the government's ongoing investigation and enhance their compliance and ethics program and internal controls.

This story has been updated to clarify that Waldmann declined to comment on whether the company had concerns about compliance or whether a review by outside counsel was conducted at DMC.Oct 25,  · Crain's reports the Meijer, at 42, square feet, would be smaller than two Meijer Superstores currently operating in Detroit, one at Grand River, which opened a year ago; and Detroit.

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