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Tenet-owned surgical hospital to pay $1.4M to settle False Claims Act allegations

Tenet Healthcare's Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs, Calif., has agreed to pay $1.41 million to settle allegations it implanted unnecessary cardiac monitors.

The settlement resolves charges that the surgical hospital allegedly charged Medicare between 2014 and 2017 for cardiac monitors when they weren't medically necessary, which violates the False Claims Act.

"Invasive medical procedures, such as implanting heart monitors, are not without risk," said Timothy DeFrancesca, special agent in charge for the office of inspector general of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. "Therefore, when these procedures are medically unnecessary, as contended in this case, people in government health programs are put at needless peril, and taxpayers end up with the bill."

Michael Grace, a former hospital employee, filed a whistleblower lawsuit under the False Claims Act. Through the settlement, Mr. Grace will receive $240,789.

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